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Posted: Saturday, April 6, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 5:26 am, Sat Apr 6, 2013.

New Mexico man pleads guilty to killing nun

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A man who beat a nun over the head with a flashlight and then strangled her to quiet her moans pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in federal court Friday under a deal that saved him a possible mandatory life sentence.

Reehahlio Carroll faces 40 years in prison without parole in the 2009 killing of Sister Marguerite Bartz, 64, who interrupted a burglary at her home on the St. Berard Mission in the community of Navajo on the Navajo Indian Reservation in northwestern New Mexico.

U.S. District Judge William Johnson accepted the plea, but formal sentencing still needs to be scheduled. Carroll faced a mandatory life term if convicted of the original charges that included first-degree murder.

Prosecutors said Carroll, who just turned 21, confessed to breaking into the nun's trailer home at about midnight Nov. 1, 2009, in search of money and items that could be traded for cash or drugs and alcohol. He attacked Bartz with a flashlight her after she hit him with a slipper as he entered a bedroom.

Gang member detained in prisons chief killing

DENVER -- A white supremacist prison gang member was arrested and another was still being sought for questioning Friday in the death of Colorado's prisons chief as authorities investigated whether the gang had any ties to the killing.

James Lohr, who has the words "Hard" and "Luck" tattooed where his eyebrows would be, was taken into custody early Friday in Colorado Springs. He was wanted for questioning in the slaying of Department of Corrections Director Tom Clements.

Authorities believe Lohr was in contact with gang associate Evan Ebel days before the killings of Clements and pizza delivery man Nate Leon. Police said they believe Ebel killed Leon and Clements less than a week before he died in a Texas shootout, but the motive is unclear.

Colorado Springs police arrested Lohr after a short foot chase that started when officers tried to stop the car he was driving. Lohr was booked on felony evading charges and also held on three separate outstanding arrest warrants unrelated to the Clements case.

Hikers found in 4-day search; deputy injured

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. -- Two hikers are recovering in Southern California hospitals after a four-day hunt for the lost men met a happy ending.

Lt. Jason Park says 18-year-old Kyndall Jack and 19-year-old Nicolas Cendoya were recuperating from dehydration and minor injuries on Friday. They are expected to remain in the hospital for several days.

A deputy who was injured in the search in the Cleveland National Forest remains in serious condition, but he is expected to recover from his head injury and other injuries.

Park said they haven't been interviewed again since the initial conversations when they were found, and there's less urgency to do it quickly since no one is still missing.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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