A convicted murderer who avoided the electric chair was electrocuted accidentally while sitting naked on a steel toilet in his cell, prison officials said.

Francis Archibald, spokesman for the state Department of Corrections, said Michael Anderson Godwin, 28, apparently was trying to fix a pair of earphones connected to his television set Sunday when he bit into a wire and was electrocuted."It was a strange accident," Archibald said. "He was sitting naked on a metal commode."

Corrections officers making a routine check found Godwin in his cell at the Central Correctional Institution, prison officials said.

The inmate was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1983. An earlier verdict that would have sent Godwin to the electric chair had been overturned on appeal.