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Police: Suspect in killing has used ‘voices’ defense before

Updated Monday, Aug. 1, 2011 | 4:14 p.m.

Carl Guilford

Carl Guilford

An 18-year-old accused in the killing of his cellmate Friday in the Clark County Detention Center allegedly blamed the devil for the act, and Metro Police say it's the second time he has used “voices” as a defense for violence.

Metro Police charged Carl Guilford in connection with the death of fellow inmate Francesco Sanfilippo, who was found dead and covered with a sheet in the shared cell, according to the arrest report released today.

Sanfilippo, 39, died from blunt force injuries to the head and abdomen, according to the Clark County coroner's office. His death was ruled a homicide.

Friday's arrest was Guilford's second on a murder charge. Police arrested Guilford in May in connection with the death of his 6-year-old nephew, Christopher Montgomery, who was suffocated with a blanket.

Guilford told detectives in May that he heard voices of "devils" before the boy's death.

Guilford used a similar defense Friday when he allegedly told detectives the devil made him kill Sanfilippo; otherwise, he would have had to kill himself, according to the arrest report.

The statement to police involving the devil’s message, however, came after Guilford initially told detectives he killed his cellmate during a fight prompted by Sanfilippo grabbing his buttocks, according to the arrest report.

When Guilford changed his story, the brief version of events he told detectives indicated the attack was random.

"Guilford said that Sanfilippo was sitting in a chair at the desk when (he) attacked him," according to the arrest report. "Guilford then slammed him on the floor and then choked Sanfilippo."

Guilford claimed he could not remember anything after those events, police said.

A corrections officer doing routine inmate checks found Sanfilippo at 1:21 a.m. Friday after seeing a large amount of blood near the cell door, police said in the report. Another corrections officer responded and helped secure Guilford, who they described as sitting on a top bunk with a "blank stare."

Sanfilippo was pronounced dead at the scene with severe head and facial injuries.

Detectives noted that blood spatter on the walls and blood pooled near the victim suggested a struggle.

"There were signs that there was an attempt to wipe up the apparent blood," police said in the report.

Guilford had blood and minor abrasions on his neck and arms, as well as blood on his clothing that was collected as evidence, according to the arrest report.

Police said Sanfilippo's death is the first inmate killing at the detention center since 1979. Sanfilippo was being held at the jail in connection with possession of child pornography and on a warrant for a felony DUI, police said.

Detention Center Capt. John Donahue said Guilford had been housed with Sanfilippo in the protective custody unit, a special housing area for suspects who could face threats from the general inmate population based on the nature of their charges.

Each inmate who enters the detention center undergoes a psychological evaluation, Donahue said. Detention center officials review that evaluation along with the person’s past behavior in jail, if applicable, to determine an appropriate placement, he said.

Guilford was not placed in a detention center unit for inmates deemed mentally ill, Donahue said. Citing safety concerns, detention center officials declined to say where Guilford is being housed now.

It’s still unclear how long Sanfilippo had been dead before corrections officers found him in cell, Donahue said. The investigation is ongoing.

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