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Warren County inmate facing death penalty in case of dead cellmate

An inmate accused of strangling his cellmate to death on April 23 at the Lebanon Correctional Institution is facing the death penalty.

Jack Welninski, 33, was indicted for aggravated murder, along with two capital specifications, and a repeat violent offender specification by a Warren County grand jury.

Welninski is incarcerated at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown.

MORE: Warren County capital case tied to theft for drug money 

He is accused of murdering cellmate Kevin Nill, 40, of Piqua while incarcerated at the prison west of Lebanon in Turtlecreek Twp.

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“Investigators believe that Welninski murdered Nill to obtain a transfer to a different prison. The two had been cellmates for less than an hour before Nill was discovered deceased in the cell,” according to a news release from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the release, Welninski is serving a 69-year prison sentence after being convicted in Wood County for the 2015 attempted murder of an Oregon, Ohio police officer.

Nill had been incarcerated for attempted domestic violence.

The first capital specification against Welninski is based upon a finding by the grand jury that he committed the offense of aggravated murder while he was under detention.

The second capital specification is based upon a finding by the grand jury that, at the time of the aggravated murder, Welninski had previously been convicted of an offense, “an essential element of which was an attempt to kill another,” according to the release.

Judge Donald Oda II was assigned the case.

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