Christina Black, Convicted of Killing Grandma With a Piece of Fruit, Kills Herself in Prison

The Arizona Department of Corrections says convicted murderer Christina Black apparently killed herself on Tuesday.

Black, a 52-year-old former Apache Junction resident, had been in prison since 1999, when she was sentenced to life after fessing up to murdering her grandmother with a piece of fruit.

According to a 1999 Associated Press story, Black's grandmother, 88-year-old Helen Gerstung, died in April 1995, and Apache Junction cops found no signs of foul play.

Black moved to Florida after her grandmother's death, and a year later, phoned up police in Orlando to confess -- she had killed her grandmother with a kiwi fruit, a blanket, and a plastic bag.

Indeed, according to that AP story, police exhumed Gerstung's body, and found kiwi seeds in her mouth, chunks of kiwi in her throat, and six of her ribs had been broken.

Black's public defender reportedly said during trial that the confession should have been excluded from the trial, because Black suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

As with all inmate deaths, the Arizona Department of Corrections says the county medical examiner will investigate.

Black was housed at the Arizona State Prison Complex-Perryville, which is in Goodyear.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley