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Lacy Laverne Kelley, murder convict, dies of natural causes

(File photo) A guard tower at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison on Friday, Apr. 10, 2015. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)
(File photo) A guard tower at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison on Friday, Apr. 10, 2015. (Stephen Mally/The Gazette)

Lacy Laverne Kelley, who had been serving a life sentence after being convicted of first-degree murder in the 1970s, was pronounced dead at 10:20 p.m. on Saturday.

Kelley had been convicted of killing Thomas Noethe, 19, in the Trax Oil Station in Cedar Rapids on January 7, 1970. Noethe died from a shotgun wound to the head.

Police were able to link Kelley to the murder after Noethe’s brother told them a cigar box marked “Trax” in which money was kept and a coin changer were missing from the store. These items were later found in Kelley’s apartment, as well as a 16 gauge shotgun, which matched the shotgun shells found at the scene, according to Justia.

Kelley confessed to the robbery and killing.

His incarceration began on July 22, 1970 after being convicted of first-degree murder.

According to a news release from the Iowa Department of Corrections, Kelley, 66, was being housed in a hospice room of the Iowa State Penitentiary due to chronic illness, which is where he died due to natural causes.

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