A condemned inmate in Alabama apparently decided not to wait for the state to take his life. Jeffrey Lynn Borden, a 57-year-old Death Row inmate convicted of two 1993 murders, was found hanged in his cell early Sunday in what authorities say was an apparent suicide, AL.com reports. Borden was sentenced to death in 1995 for killing his estranged wife and her father. Court files state that after Borden brought his three children to a Christmas Eve family gathering, he shot their mother, Cheryl Borden, in front of them as she started to help the children move their things from his car, the North Jefferson News reports. He then shot her father, Roland Harris, in the back as he tried to run into the house.
Borden was found hanging by a bedsheet during a security check, authorities say. Federal defender John Palombi says his office was "saddened" to hear of the death, which he blames on prison underfunding and understaffing. "Borden suffered from severe mental illness and chronic physical pain, both of which were undertreated by the Department of Corrections despite their knowledge of these issues," Palombi said in a statement. Borden was within three hours of being executed on Oct. 5 last year when a stay of execution was granted amid claims that Alabama's lethal injection method of execution was unconstitutional. The stay of execution was lifted in November and a request to reinstate it was rejected in February, though it's not clear whether Borden had been given a new execution date, Fox reports. (This condemned inmate in Nevada says he is ready to die.)