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Archive for Sunday, August 5, 2001

Comedian’s stalker found dead in jail cell

August 5, 2001

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— A convicted stalker accused of repeatedly threatening comedian Jerry Lewis was found dead Saturday in his jail cell.

Police said it appeared Gary Randolph Benson, 57, died in his sleep at the Clark County Detention Center. He was found at 1:48 a.m.

The coroner's office is still to determine the cause of death.

Benson, of Sheridan, Wyo., was accused of sending Lewis a letter last year reading: "Dear Jerry. Your Dead. Your friend, Gary Benson."

He was facing a Nov. 12 trial on charges he violated a protective order and stalked Lewis. His June trial was delayed when a judge ordered Benson to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Benson, a diagnosed schizophrenic, had already served six years for stalking Lewis. He was released from prison eight months before Lewis received the threatening letter.

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