IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa inmate serving life in prison for the death of two police officers in the early 1980s has died, according to authorities.
The Iowa Corrections Department said in a news release that James Michael Taylor, 60, died Tuesday at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He died of natural causes due to complications from an aortic aneurism, authorities said. He had been transferred to the hospital from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.
Taylor, whose nickname was “T-Bone,” was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and received two life sentences for the July 1981 murders of Waterloo officers Wayne Rice, 27, and Michael Hoing, 28, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported (https://bit.ly/1eSgGhZ ).
The officers were shot during a quarrel that erupted after they responded to a complaint about a wild party. Taylor, who had been on parole at the time for a robbery conviction, was one of the partygoers and became involved in the fight. Trial testimony showed Taylor grabbed Rice’s gun and shot him once at close range. He then fired four shots at Hoing, striking him three times.
More officers arrived at the scene, and both Rice and Hoing died a short time later.
Taylor, who fled, forced authorities into a massive manhunt that lasted several days. Some residents armed themselves in fear, as they reported any sightings of him, the newspaper reported.
Taylor was eventually found hiding in a field in La Porte City. Other partygoers involved in the fight later received various convictions for their roles.
A memorial service for Rice and Hoing is held every year.
“It’s a reminder you need to be prepared when you hit the street and make sure you stay safe,” said Waterloo Police Capt. Tim Pillack. “Any call it can happen any time.”
Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com
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