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Kevin Wiley, the man convicted of first-degree murder in June in the 2016 slaying of his then-girlfriend, Marie Colburn, fatally hung himself in the Oakland County Jail early Sunday morning, authorities said. He was 35. 

Colburn, who delivered The Detroit News as well as the Free Press, was found dead in her Pontiac apartment by her mother in April 2016. 

Wiley was an absconder from parole at the time of Colburn's death and had absconded a number of times in the past. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said the Wiley case reinforced the need for parole reform in Michigan. 

It took about three weeks after Colburn's death for the U.S. Marshals Service to arrest Wiley, who by then had fled to Kentucky. He was extradited back to Michigan, jailed, and in June was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder.

Wiley's death on Sunday came a day before he was scheduled to be sentenced "to natural life," an Oakland County Sheriff's Office statement on his suicide said. Had Wiley shown signs of potential self-harm, he would've been on suicide watch.

But he wasn't, and his cell had been checked 22 minutes before he was found dead, the department said. Deputy sheriffs found him in his single-occupancy cell, hanging from a sheet. 

The Oakland County Medical Examiner ruled Wiley's death a suicide by hanging. He left a suicide note, but its contents were not disclosed

Wiley had past convictions for manslaughter, home invasion, and drugs. 

jdickson@detroitnews.com

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