- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 14, 2014

JESSUP, Md. (AP) - A former Westminster businessman convicted in one of Maryland’s longest murder trials is dead.

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services said Tuesday that 71-year-old Robert Lee Myers died Sunday at a prison hospital in Jessup.

His son Bryan says Myers died of cancer. He says his father had been treated for both prostate and skin cancer.

The Carroll County Times reports that Myers‘ three children have always maintained their father was innocent in the 1979 shooting of their stepmother, Mary Ruth Myers.

Myers was convicted of first-degree murder in 1982 and sentenced to life in prison after a 72-day trial and three days of jury deliberations.

Jurors were convinced that Myers had paid hit man Daniel Lee Chadderton $10,000 to kill his wife.

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