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    Inmate beaten to death at Shirley prison is identified

    A 72-year-old man who was serving a life sentence at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley has been identified as the inmate who was killed in his cell on Tuesday, authorities said.

    William Sires, convicted in the 1973 murder of his mother in Pittsfield, was found badly beaten in his cell, according to the office of Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr.

    Sires was pronounced dead at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday while officials were transporting him to Leominster Hospital, Early’s office said in a statement.

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    State Police and the state Department of Corrections are investigating.

    Trisha Thadani can be reached at trisha.thadani@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @TrishaThadani.