Suspect in prostitute murders dies of self-inflicted injuries in jail

CLAY COUNTY, Mo. - A man accused of killing two prostitutes died of self-inflicted injuries in the Clay County Jail.

Derek Richardson was found trying to kill himself on April 7, according the Clay County Sheriff's office. The 27-year-old died from his injuries late Thursday afternoon.

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Richardson was charged with two counts each of first-degree murder and abandonment of a corpse in February. He confessed to murdering two women -- Tamara Sparks and Nicoleone Reed -- after he was taken into custody.

Police say that if he were not arrested, they believe he would have kept on killing.

Daniel White, the prosecuting attorney in Clay County, said Richardson's suicide saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands -- if not millions -- of dollars.

"Derek Richardson's suicide may have been an attempt to escape justice but the fact is he imposed upon himself the most severe punishment available and did so in a way impossible to appeal," White said in the statement. "But his legacy has one final tragic chapter: Defendant Richardson has added his family and loved ones to the roll call of victims and survivors left bobbing in his wake."


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