Israeli special forces raided Sharon Prison in central Israel today, killing one of the country's most notorious inmates after he seized a guard's weapon, shot three guards, and barricaded himself inside the compound. A standoff ensued, with counter-terrorism units dispatched to the scene. The inmate then opened fire again before forces killed him, a police spokesman said. Police identified the inmate as Samuel Sheinbein, an American who fled to Israel after committing a gruesome murder in Maryland in 1997 and whose case sparked a high-profile row between the US and Israel.
Sheinbein, 34, was tried in Israel in 1999, two years after he fled to the country and successfully sought refuge from extradition, enraging Maryland authorities and briefly threatening US aid to the Jewish state. An Israeli court sentenced Sheinbein to 24 years for the slaying and dismemberment of 19-year-old Alfred Enrique Tello Jr. Sheinbein was 17 at the time of the killing and could have faced a life sentence in Maryland. His extradition to Maryland was blocked after a yearlong battle between Israel and the United States over an Israeli law that prohibited it. (Read more Israel stories.)