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Convicted Killer Says He Doesn't Regret Murdering His Cellmate — An Accused Child Molester

"Mercy was mixed with justice. He met his maker," Gary Dale Poole said, admitting to killing his cellmate Michael Stauff.

By Jon Silman

A California man said this week he had no apologies and no remorse for murdering his cellmate — who was an accused child molester.

Gary Dale Poole, 67, was sentenced on Tuesday to 75 years to life in prison for the April 2014 murder of Michael Stauff, 62, according to The Fresno Bee. Stauff was awaiting trial on child sex abuse charges at the time of his death, the Associated Press reported.

"Mercy was mixed with justice. He met his maker," Poole said during the sentencing, calling the killing a public service.

His admission was surprising because he had denied his role in Stauff's death at the Fresno County jail throughout his trial in March. He claimed that Stauff had commited suicide with torn bed sheets wrapped around his neck. The jury didn't buy it — finding Poole guilty in less than an hour, the Fresno Bee reported.

Superior Court Judge Jonathan Conklin called the confession "striking in its audacity."

"In trial, you said you were innocent," Conklin said, handing down the maximum sentence allowable under the law. "Today, we know that was an absolute fabrication. You did it."

On April 24, 2014, Poole called for officers to come to his cell, and they found a dead body under a blanket on the ground. Poole was the only one in the cell with Stauff during the murder.

Poole moved the body, prosecutors said during the trial, covered it with a blanket and washed his bloody hands afterward.

Prosecutors argued that based on expert analysis, it was impossible for a person to kill themselves by wrapping bedsheets around their own neck, according to The Fresno Bee. They would pass out first.

Prosecutors gave several motives for the killing during the trial. They said the two men had argued over commissary money. Poole made his supposed reasoning clear in a letter he wrote to The Fresno Bee, however, saying that he hates child molesters.

"I believe in the death penalty for anyone who preys on children in a sexual way," he wrote.

"He had the opportunity to pray for forgiveness to God before he died. Hopefully, he received a pardon through Jesus," he said about Stauff directly.

In court on Tuesday, Poole said he had "no feelings, no apology and no expectations" about the killing.

When he killed Stauff, Poole was incarcerated on drug charges. He was previously convicted of unlawful consensual sex with an inmate and charges related to burglary and robbery, according to the Associated Press

[Photo: Fresno County Sheriff’s Office]

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