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Pinellas Jail inmate chose death over prison

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Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2014 at 12:06 PM

— Just a few weeks before he was to be sentenced in a solicitation-to-commit murder case, a convicted sex offender was found dead over the weekend at the Pinellas County Jail, his defense attorney confirmed.

Attorney Deb Moss said Tuesday morning she was notified Saturday that David Tyler, 56, was found dead and that he appeared to have killed himself.

Tyler was convicted last month of solicitation to commit murder. Prosecutors claimed he enlisted a fellow inmate at the jail to find someone to kill his aunt after his aunt told a judge her nephew should not be released on bond during a pending case in which he was accused of stalking a 13-year-old boy.

Tyler was scheduled to be sentenced May 23 in the solicitation-to-commit murder case. Because of his criminal history, he faced a sentence of 15 years to life.

Tyler had spent more than 25 years in prison in Ohio for raping and stalking boys.

After his release, he was arrested in St. Petersburg in June 2011 on charges of stalking the 13-year-old. He had asked to have his $200,000 bail reduced so he could go free until trial, but one of his aunts, Fanny Bear, advised against it, considering her nephew’s history, and he remained incarcerated.

For that, Tyler wanted her dead and turned to a fellow inmate at the Pinellas jail to find someone for the job. But the inmate told authorities, who soon had a Pinellas sheriff’s deputy pass himself off as a hit-man during a taped telephone conversation with Tyler, and Tyler was charged.

Tyler had told his fellow inmate he had contemplated suicide. He did not want to go back to prison.

Stay with TBO.com for updates.

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