American Inmate Killed in Shootout With Israeli Prison Guards

An American inmate being held in an Israeli prison has been killed after shooting at the prison guards and seriously injuring two of them. Samuel Sheinbein had been held in the Israeli prison since 1997, and his death brings closure to the family of the Maryland man he murdered.

According to reports, Sheinbein stole a weapon and began firing at the guards. He then barricaded himself inside the prison, where a stand-off ensued. Sheinbein then fired again, hitting three more guards. Units dispatched to the scene returned fire and killed Sheinbein.

(Photo: Screengrab/Reuters TV)Samuel Sheinbein was killed in a shootout with Israeli prison guards.

Sheinbein's case brought international attention after he fled to Israel to avoid a life sentence in Maryland for killing and dismembering 19-year-old Alfredo Enrique Tello Jr. Sheinbein and Aaron Needle strangled Tello with a rope before hitting him several times with a sharp object. He then used an electric saw to dismember Tello's body before burning it.

Authorities managed to track down Sheinbein and Tello, but Sheinbein fled to Israel, where he was also a citizen, in order to avoid the life sentence. The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that Sheinbein could not be extradited to the United States, leading to rather tense relations between the U.S. and Israel. Two years later, Shienbein was sentenced to 24 years for his crime.

"When he was sentenced, he was 17, without a criminal background, a kid from a normal background," Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, Sheinbein's attorney, told The Guardian. "It is hard to understand how after all these years in prison it was not able to help him rehabilitate."

The Maryland attorney who wanted to try Sheinbein for the brutal murder had a completely different reaction and said that Sheinbein's actions were surprising, given that he would soon be eligible for parole.

"He's on the brink of being released from jail and then he goes on what basically seems to be a suicide rampage," Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler said. "So this was a young man who was still very troubled, and this ends a very tumultuous life." He added that the death "brings actual closure" to Tello's family.