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Man convicted in Hall murder found dead in apparent suicide at prison
Brian Villa-Rivera sits between attorney Dan Sammons, left, and interpreter Guillermo Arenas in Hall County Superior Court in 2016 as he enters a plea of guilty to the March 2010 murder of 67-year-old Gainesville man Ramon Hernandez. Rivera was found unresponsive in his prison cell Saturday, Oct. 20, from an apparent suicide. - photo by Scott Rogers

A man serving a life sentence for a 2010 Hall County murder was found unresponsive in his prison cell Saturday, Oct. 20, from an apparent suicide, according to Georgia Department of Corrections officials.

Brian Villa-Rivera was found around 6 p.m. Saturday in his Macon State Prison cell by correctional officers.

“The facility’s medical staff responded to the unit and administered CPR,” according to the Department of Corrections’ news release.

He was pronounced dead by the local coroner two hours later.

The corrections department is investigating the death, which is standard for in-custody deaths.

Villa-Rivera was 22 when he was extradited from Mexico to Hall County to face charges from the March 16, 2010, death of Ramon Hernandez. The medical examiner discovered 16 blunt force trauma injuries on the 68-year-old man, and authorities said they believed Villa-Rivera and two others plotted to rob Hernandez.

Villa-Rivera pleaded guilty in August 2016 and received a life prison sentence with the chance of parole.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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