Inmate Pleads Guilty to Killing Cellmate

He told police he had to kill the cellmate because he knocked out one of his teeth.

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) – An inmate has pleaded guilty to beating his cellmate to death as they drank alcohol in their Maryland cell.

Mark Andrew Topper, 36,  pleaded guilty Thursday to second-degree murder in the 2016 death of 26-year-old Benjamin Hall, in exchange for several charges being dropped.

Prosecutor Charles Strong said Topper pummeled Hall to death at Maryland Correctional Institution-Hagerstown, with an officer finding Hall lying in a pool of blood. Strong said Topper told investigators he had to kill Hall because Hall knocked out one of his teeth.

Hall and Topper were alleged members of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang. Topper was serving a sentence for robbery charges, while Hall was serving a theft sentence.

Topper’s defense team requested evaluation by a social worker before his June sentencing.