SACRAMENTO  (AP) – An inmate already sentenced to death for four murders has died while awaiting trial in a fifth slaying.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said Wednesday that 73-year-old Wilbur Lee Jennings died Tuesday of natural causes while being held at the Sacramento County jail.

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He was awaiting trial for the 1981 murder of Debra Chandler.

Jennings was linked by DNA evidence to the 17-year-old Sacramento woman, whose body was found near a water-filled roadside ditch.

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The department says investigators nicknamed Jennings the “ditch-bank killer” because his victims were often found in canals or irrigation pipes.

He was sentenced to death by a Fresno County jury in 1986 for the slayings of Linda Johnson, Olga Cannon and Jacqueline Frazier in 1984, and the murder of Karen Robinson in 1983.

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.