Convicted Missouri killer dies in prison at age 72

     (AP) – A man who was spared the death penalty by a St.

Louis-area jury that instead assessed a life prison term in the 1977 shooting

death of a police officer has died in prison.

     The Missouri Department of Corrections said 72-year-old James Davis died of

apparent natural causes Saturday at a Jefferson City hospital.

     Court records show Davis was being pursued by St. Charles police officer Gary

Stroud after a reported tavern disturbance when he repeatedly shot Stroud with a

shotgun. Stroud died a short time later.

     Davis was convicted of capital murder, and prosecutors sought the death

penalty. But jurors instead recommended that he get a life sentence without

parole eligibility for 50 years.

     At trial, defense attorneys argued Davis was not guilty by reason of mental

disease or defect.


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