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Man charged with killing elderly Army vet found dead in jail cell

Sedgwick County authorities say a man charged with killing an elderly Army veteran was found dead in his jail cell on Saturday.

The sheriff’s office said in a news release that preliminary reports indicate 36-year-old Austin Lee Stewart of Wichita died of self-inflicted asphyxiation from a bed sheet but an official cause of death has not been determined.

The Wichita Eagle reports Stewart was found unresponsive in his cell Saturday night and efforts to revive him failed.

Stewart was charged with first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and theft in the November 29th beating and asphyxiation death of 88-year-old Floyd Gilbert.

Court records say Gilbert died during an attempted robbery.  Stewart and another man apparently targeted Gilbert because they thought he kept cash and guns in a safe in his home.

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