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Man gets 35 years in prison for fatal attack in jail van after birthday celebration

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CLEARWATER, Florida — A Tampa Bay area man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for fatally attacking another man in a jail transport van.

A Pinellas County judge sentenced 39-year-old Leonard Lanni on Friday. He was convicted in June of second-degree murder.

Authorities say Lanni was celebrating his birthday at the Sirata Beach Resort in July 2013 when authorities say he yelled profane comments and pushed a security guard. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.

Lanni and another man, 59-year-old Thomas Morrow, were heading to the county jail in the back of a private contractor's van when authorities say Lanni began kicking Morrow in the head and upper body. The van's driver reported that he had to stop and pull Lanni off Morrow.

Morrow was hospitalized with severe injuries and died two months later.

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