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One Death Row Inmate Kills Another

September 7, 1999

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) _ Convicted cop killer Robert ``Mudman″ Simon was killed in prison in a fight with another death row inmate, a spokeswoman said today.

Simon, a motorcycle gang member who was one of the state’s most notorious prisoners, was pronounced dead after being involved in the fight with Ambrose Harris, corrections spokeswoman Mary Ellen Bolton said.

Bolton had no further details, including precisely when the fight happened or how the 48-year-old Simon died. The two were housed in the death row section of the New Jersey State Prison in Trenton.

Both inmates remained on death row pending appeals.

Harris was convicted in February 1996 for the 1992 carjacking, rape and murder of Kristin Huggins, 22, of Lower Makefield, Pa. Huggins disappeared while driving to paint a mural in downtown Trenton on Dec. 17, 1992.

Simon was sentenced to death after he pleaded guilty to killing Franklin Township police officer Ippolito Gonzalez. He later recanted the guilty plea, saying he had made it to protect a fellow member of his Warlocks motorcycle gang. The state Supreme Court, however, upheld Simon’s death sentence last month.

Simon was paroled from a Pennsylvania prison 11 weeks before Gonzalez was killed. He had served 12 1/2 years of a 10- to 20-year sentence for killing his 19-year-old girlfriend, Beth Smith Dusenberg, after she refused to have sex with fellow gang members.

The Warlocks terrorized people in the ’70s with hundreds of members, and Simon was particularly feared, former Pennsylvania trooper William Davis said in 1995.

``He was a sociopath. He showed no remorse,″ Davis said at the time. ``He didn’t care. He was unpredictable. He had a sick sense of humor. He looked like he belonged in the Viking days. You plunder and kill, and everything’s OK, and the strong survive. He was ill-tempered and dangerous. You didn’t know what he’d do from one day to the next.″

The judge who handled the trial in the death of Ms. Dusenberg, John Lavelle, said in 1995 that dozens of Warlocks circled the courthouse on their motorcycles each day and frightened the jurors, possibly leading to the conviction of only second-degree murder.

``It’s the only case where I ever wore a bulletproof vest,″ Lavelle said.

New Jersey has not executed anyone since restoring the death penalty in 1982. The last time the state used the death penalty was in 1963.

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