Man in jail for murder kills again, Pinellas County Sheriff says

PINELLAS COUNTY - The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says an inmate accused of strangling his girlfriend during sex last August killed a fellow inmate Sunday morning.

Scott Alexander Greenberg, 28, is now suspected of killing fellow inmate Kelly Damon Harding, 48. 

According to Sheriff Bob Gualtieri, Greenberg used the same method to kill Harding as he did his girlfriend one year ago by strangling him and then stuffing toilet paper down his throat.

Greenberg was behind bars and facing second degree murder charges in the death of his girlfriend Jennifer Zale, 26, in August 2012. 

According to detectives, Greenberg and Zale had resided together at the Kenwood Inn Hotel in St. Petersburg for two weeks when Zale was killed.

Greenberg claimed that he and Zale engaged in consensual sexual intercourse and that Zale willingly participated in an act of sexual asphyxia, by which he placed his hands around her neck and squeezed.

At some point, Zale went unconscious and could not be awakened.   Greenberg acknowledged to police that he waited eight hours to call for help because he claimed he panicked and was unsure what to do.

Greenberg insisted that he had no intention of killing Zale and that the act was strictly consensual. 

Greenberg was initially charged with manslaughter but those charges were upgraded when an autopsy revealed additional injuries Zale's body were consistent with continuous and intentional homicide violence.

Sheriff Gualtieri said Harding was found with the same bones broken in his neck as Zale had and was also found with wads of toilet paper stuff down his throat.  He added that there were no signs of sexual assault.

Harding was found unconscious, fully clothed and on the floor of the cell he shared with Greenberg around 1 a.m.  Sunday. 

The sheriff told ABC Action News both men were in protective custody over behavior issues and had only been cellmates for a few hours when the murder occurred.

"He [Harding] had been making racial slurs toward other inmates, he was spitting on inmates and his behavior within the jail was very disruptive,"  Gualtieri explained.

Gualtieri said Greenberg had attempted to hit guards in the past.

Per protocol, jail guards are required to check inmates that are in protective custody every 30 minutes. Gualtieri said guards check the cells at 12:52 a.m.

Jail guards were alerted to the death, according to Sheriff Gualtieri, when Greenberg yelled out, "There is a man down in my cell."  That occurred at 12:58 a.m.

"He purposely did it right after the deputy left," the sheriff explained. 

Sheriff Gualtieri said Greenberg also admitted to killing and his motive was to get on death row.

"He yelled to another inmate in the pod, 'I did it. It is done,'"  explained Sheriff Gualtieri.  "And when the other inmate asked him what he had done, he replied, 'what I am in here for.'"

Harding, who was being held on burglary charges, was pronounced dead at the hospital around 2 a.m.

"They removed what now constitutes two 3 oz. containers of toilet paper that had been jammed down Harding's throat," Gualtieri explained of emergency room doctors.

In addition to the second degree murder charges he is facing in Zale's death, Greenberg is now facing first degree murder charges in Harding's death. He is now in a single isolation cell.

Calls to Zale's family for comment were not immediately returned.

Sheriff Gualtieri said this is the first inmate on inmate murder at the jail.


 
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