Missouri inmate convicted in 1977 murder dies in prison at age 72

Posted: Dec. 20, 2016 11:20 am

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.

In Case You Missed It

Robert "Bob" Powell, 87, of Palmyra, Mo., passed away Thursday, July 9, 2020, surrounded by his family at his home in Palmyra. A Mass of Christian burial with full military rites by Boots-Dickson American Legion No. 174 will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 14, 2020, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Palmyra, with burial at St. Joseph Cemetery in Palmyra. Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, July 13, 2020, at Lewis Brothers Funeral Chapel in Palmyra, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.