Inmate death in Florence suspected to be gang-related

Updated: Feb. 3, 2018 at 6:33 PM MST
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FLORENCE, AZ (AP) - The Arizona Department of Corrections says the death of a state prison inmate is being investigated as a suspected gang-related homicide.

The department says 30-year-old Christopher M. Bendel had multiple stab wounds when he was found in a large outdoor recreation enclosure at the Eyman prison complex in Florence.

According to the department, several inmate-made weapons were recovered at the scene and DOC criminal investigators "have reasonable cause to suspect gang-related foul play may have been involved."

Bendel was sentenced to eight years in prison for a Maricopa County conviction for armed robbery.

He previously was in prison briefly in 2010 on a conviction for discharging a firearm within city limits.

Bendel's DOC inmate profile says he was scheduled to be released in July.

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