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Female inmate dies in Richmond jail

A woman in custody after being convicted last month of the murder of her sister died after a reported suicide early Monday morning at a Contra Costa County jail in Richmond, according to the sheriff’s office.

Linda Thomas, 74, was from Washington. She was convicted of first-degree murder on May 21 after shooting and killing her sister Zonna Thomas on Oct. 17, 2015.

A sheriff’s deputy conducting a routine room check at the West County Detention Facility at 2:48 a.m. saw an inmate hanging from the top bunk of a bed, sheriff’s officials said.

The deputy moved the woman to the ground and performed CPR until emergency responders arrived. Thomas was pronounced dead at the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies and the district attorney’s office are investigating the woman’s death.

Thomas traveled from Washington to visit her sister in Rodeo on Oct. 16, 2015. The next day, prosecutors said she shot her sister in the kitchen and attempted to shoot her brother-in-law.

Prosecutors said she paid for her own obituary in a Washington newspaper before she left town.

Her sentencing hearing was scheduled for July 27 in Contra Costa County Superior Court. She faced a possible life sentence without the possibility for parole, according to prosecutors.

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