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January 25, 2013

Lawton inmate sentenced to 35 years after plea

McALESTER — A Lawton inmate has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for the death of his cellmate.

Joseph Palone pleaded guilty Tuesday in Comanche County to one count of first-degree manslaughter. The 24-year-old had faced up to life in prison if convicted in last year's death of 29-year-old Matthew Dorrough.

Authorities say emergency responders came to the Lawton prison on Feb. 21 on a report that an inmate had fallen down. Once there, however, investigators determined that Dorrough had been choked to death.

The Lawton Constitution reports that investigators believe Dorrough attacked Palone first, but that Palone's response was "perpetrated unnecessarily."

Palone is now serving a 15-year sentence for attempted robbery and weapons convictions out of Tulsa County.

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