SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – An inmate condemned to die for the torture slaying of a Sacramento-area bartender two decades ago has died while awaiting execution.

State prison officials said Tuesday that 55-year-old Michael Lee Elliot died of undetermined causes Monday at a hospital near San Quentin State Prison. An autopsy is planned.

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Elliot was sentenced to death in 1996 for the slaying two years earlier of bartender Sherri Gandy. She was killed during the early morning hours at the Black Stallion bar in Orangevale.

The 31-year-old single mother was stabbed and slashed 82 times before she was shot four times in the head.

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Prosecutors say he carefully tortured Gandy with a knife even though she didn’t know the combination to the bar’s safe.


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