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'Baked to death'

Alma Murdough and her daughter Cheryl Warner hold a photo of Murdough's son at her home earlier this month in the Queens borough of New York. Jerome Murdough, a mentally ill, homeless former Marine arrested for sleeping in the roof landing of a New York City public housing project during one of the coldest recorded winters in city history, died last month in a Rikers Island jail cell that city officials say was at least 100 degrees when his body was discovered.  Murdough, 56, was found dead in his cell in a mental observation unit in the early hours of Feb. 15, after excessive heat, believed to be caused by an equipment malfunction, was redirected to his upper-level cell, the officials said. "He basically baked to death," said one of the officials.


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