LUCASVILLE, Ohio - A 26-year-old former Warren Township man convicted of murder died Tuesday in a southern Ohio prison.
On Wednesday, officials confirmed the death of Noal Quattlebaum, who was serving a sentence of 15 years to life in the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility for the 2008 murder of his live-in girlfriend, Amber L. Wesley, 21.
"The preliminary is it looks like an apparent suicide," said Warden Assistant Larry Greene.
Quattlebaum was pronounced dead shortly after 3 p.m. Tuesday. He apparently hanged himself, said Greene. The initial coroner's report said he died of asphyxiation. However, there will be an autopsy, Greene said.
Wesley's mother, Carol Alsept, said Wednesday that Quattlebaum's death was an answered prayer.
"There was no way I could live with the fact that he was walking around on taxpayer money and my daughter was buried," she said.
Quattlebaum was arrested on July 22, 2008, after Wesley's body was found bound and wrapped in a blanket at the Lang Farm Road residence where the two lived. Quattlebaum was arrested later that same day at his parents' Waterford home after his mother, Felicia Quattlebaum, called 911 to report the murder.
He was reportedly suicidal at that time, according to the 911 call his mother placed.
"My son is at my house. He is suicidal. He accidentally killed his girlfriend," Felicia Quattlebaum told a dispatcher.
Noal admitted the murder to officers, saying he had strangled Wesley, first with his hands and then with a belt.
There had been a history of domestic violence in the relationship, according to authorities.
During the 911 call, Felicia told the dispatcher, "They fight constantly. I knew something bad was going to happen one day."
Wesley left behind two children, who were ages 2 years and 7 months at the time of the murder.
Quattlebaum pleaded guilty in February 2009 to the murder and was sentenced by then-Washington County Common Pleas Court Judge Susan Boyer to serve an indefinite prison sentence of 15 years to life.
He was approximately four and a half years into that sentence, meaning he would not have been eligible for parole for more than a decade.
According to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's website, he was charged in April 2012 with possession of a deadly weapon under detention, a first-degree felony.
Attempts to contact Quattlebaum's relatives Wednesday were unsuccessful.
Noal had no cellmates and the death is not being investigated as a homicide, said Greene.