Lynden man accused of killing another inmate in Monroe prison

MONROE An inmate serving time for strangling his girlfriend in 2006 is accused of stomping another inmate to death at the Monroe Correctional Complex.

Snohomish County prosecutors charged 35-year-old Benjamin C. Price of Lynden earlier this month with aggravated murder. He’s to be arraigned Aug. 5.

Gordon Powell, a 45-year-old from Centralia, died a week after the May 9 attack.

Price is serving a 12-year term for killing Dawn Ruger in 2006 and burying her body in a shallow grave near Sumas. Ruger, of Skagit County, went missing in December 2006 after leaving for a trip to Baker Lake with Price. Friends filed a missing persons report in February 2007 after she stopped picking up her disability checks.

Two years later, he confessed to the killing and led police to her body. He claimed Ruger was putting demons in his head.

Price has a long history of mental illness, according to The Daily Herald of Everett.

Price was charged with second-degree murder in Skagit County for Ruger’s death. He later pleaded guilty to manslaughter after a long stay at Western State Hospital.

Price was being housed at the Monroe prison’s mental health unit.