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Man convicted of killing Roanoke County woman in 2010 dies in custody

Man convicted of killing Roanoke County woman in 2010 dies in custody

Easley pleads no contest, avoids death penalty in woman's murder

Jeffrey Easley pleaded no contest in 2012 to the murder of Tina Smith. He received a life sentence with no parole.

Jeffrey Easley, a Roanoke County man handed a life sentence for the 2010 murder of his girlfriend, died Monday, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections.

Easley had been taken to Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax, where he died, said a department spokesman. He would have turned 43 on Thursday, according to public records.

The medical examiner’s office has been asked to determine the cause of death. Easley was last being held at River North Correctional Center in Grayson County, according to the Department of Corrections.

No other information was immediately released.

Easley’s case made headlines when he was accused of fatally beating Tina Smith of Roanoke County and abducting her 12-year-old daughter. Smith had been growing suspicious of his relationship with her child, prosecutors said at the time.

He was arrested days later after being spotted in San Francisco with the girl. In 2012, he entered a plea of no contest to the killing and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

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