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Man who murdered Frederick boy dies in prison

February 26, 2009

FREDERICK, Md. -- A man convicted of murdering a 9-year-old Frederick boy more than eight years ago has died in prison.

Maryland Division of Correction spokesman Mark Vernarelli says 53-year-old Elmer Spencer Jr. died early Wednesday of natural causes at the Western Correctional Institution near Cumberland.

Spencer was convicted in 2002 of murdering and sexually assaulting Christopher Ausherman in the dugout of an empty baseball field in November 2000.

Despite a history of sex crimes, the mentally retarded suspect had been released from prison less than a week before the murder after serving about 3 1/2 years of a 10-year sentence.

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In 2002, the Maryland General Assembly passed two bills dubbed "Christopher's Law" featuring penalties of up to life without parole for certain repeat sex offenders.

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