Rome, June 20 - Marco Prato, a man who was standing trial for allegedly for killing Luca Varani for kicks in Rome last year during a drugs binge, was found dead in his cell at Velletri jail on Tuesday after committing suicide. In a suicide note, Prato said he had decided to kill himself because of the "lies" told about him and the "media hype" surrounding the case. A hearing in the trial against Prato was set to take place on Wednesday. He was found during an inspection with a plastic bag over his head. Police said he had inhaled gas from a small cooking-gas canister with the bag over his head. His cell mate did not realise anything had happened. Velletri prosecutors have opened a probe into instigation to suicide, against person or persons unknown. Last year a detention review court rejected Prato's appeal to be released from preventive custody. Prato and fellow suspect Manuel Foffo are accused of homicide aggravated by cruelty after they allegedly tortured, beat and stabbed Varani, 23, to death during a cocaine-fueled party on March 4 last year. Foffo and Prato originally told investigators they tortured Varani so that he would have a slow death. "We just wanted to kill someone to see what effect it had on us," Foffo allegedly said. They had looked for a victim for at least 48 hours prior to choosing Varani and inviting him over to Foffo's flat, investigators said. An autopsy has determined he was struck some 30 times with a knife and a hammer before dying of shock from blood loss.
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