Tongan inmate convicted in 1998 killing of US police officer dies

By Las Vegas Review Journal

A death row inmate convicted of the 1998 killing of a University of Nevada, Reno, police officer has died in custody.

Convicted killer Siaosi Vanisi, escorted by a Nevada State Prison guard, enters court Friday, J …Convicted killer Siaosi Vanisi, escorted by a Nevada State Prison guard, enters court Friday, Jan. 18, 2002, to hear the judge set his execution date for the week of April 8. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Marilyn Newton)

The Nevada Department of Corrections reported Tuesday that Siaosi Vanisi, 53, died at University Medical Center on Thursday.

He was convicted and sentenced for the hatchet murder of UNR campus police sergeant George Sullivan.

Vanisi had been in custody since 1999 and has been serving his sentence at High Desert State Prison.

NDOC did not provide Vanisi’s cause or manner of death and said an autopsy had been requested.

In a separate statement Tuesday NDOC announced the death of 56-year-old Francisco Gallegos who was in custody at Lovelock Correctional Center.

Gallegos died on Oct. 21. He was serving 19 to 50 years after a 2014 conviction for domestic violence, attempted sexual assault and kidnapping.

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