Man who pleaded guilty in murder case died in jail from cancer, autopsy determines
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An autopsy has determined that a man who died in jail in March after pleading guilty to murder in the 1988 beating death of a pregnant Indiana woman died of cancer.
St. Joseph County Deputy Coroner Mike Samp gave an update Thursday to the South Bend Tribune on the investigation into 78-year-old George Kearney’s death at the St. Joseph County Jail.
Kearney died before a scheduled sentencing hearing in March. Prosecutors at the time said Kearney was terminally ill. Shortly after his death a judge accepted Kearney’s plea and convicted him.
Kearney admitted killing 28-year-old Miriam Rice. She was abducted June 24, 1988, while walking her dog in a park. Kearney’s former girlfriend, 56-year-old Barbara Brewster, also was charged with murder and is awaiting trial.