ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Howard County jurors heard a recording of a man telling investigators his version of the strangling of a fellow patient at a state maximum-security mental hospital.

In the poor recording played in court Tuesday, jurors could hear El Soudani El Wahhabi cry as he tells state police investigators of his suicide pact with Susan Sachs and her death at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in 2010.

El Wahhabi, who is charged with murder, said he “chickened out” when it came time to kill himself.

An investigator read aloud a note El Wahhabi gave investigators that explained that he was suffering, trapped in a transgender life and that Sachs was also transgendered. He apologized in the note for killing Sachs, but said they’d be together in the next life.

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