California death row inmate who murdered, mutilated baby dies of natural causes

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A California death row inmate who murdered and mutilated a 5-month-old girl nearly 40 years ago died on Thursday of natural causes. 

Authorities say Brett Pensinger, an inmate at San Quentin State Prison, died at 9:56 p.m. at an outside hospital.

Pensinger, 56, was sentenced to death in San Bernardino County in September 1982 for the kidnapping and murder of 5-month-old Michelle Melander. 

In 1981, the then 19-year-old Pensinger kidnapped the girl and her brother Michael after drinking with their parents at an Arizona bar.

Pensinger dropped Melander’s brother off unharmed, but the infant was found murdered and mutilated. 

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