Murderer serving life sentence dies in Salem hospital

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Authorities say a 77-year-old man convicted of murder died at a Salem hospital.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports ( ) Leroy Earp was taken to the hospital from prison last week.

The Oregon Department of Corrections says at some point Earp became unresponsive and died Monday afternoon. Corrections officials say his death appears to be of natural causes. It wasn't clear why Earp was taken to the hospital.

Authorities are investigating.

Earp was sentenced to life in prison in 1982 for the stabbing death of Ann Peery, a high school teacher in Milwaukie who was killed in her home. Earp at the time worked as a janitor at the school and was on parole for a previous murder.

Earp was sentenced to prison in 1966 for the murder of a Portland woman found nude in the trunk of his car after she had been strangled.


Oregon Dept., of Corrections news release:

An Oregon Department of Corrections (DOC) inmate died unexpectedly Monday afternoon of apparent natural causes at a local area hospital. He had been housed at Oregon State Penitentiary. As with all unanticipated deaths in state prisons, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation.

Leroy Earp, 77, was transported off-site for medical care on August 15, 2017. He was non-responsive to medical interventions and was pronounced deceased at 2:19 p.m. on Monday, August 21, 2017.

Earp entered DOC custody on July 15, 1982 on one count of aggravated murder out of Clackamas County. His was serving a life sentence.

Attempts to locate next of kin have not been successful. The department asks that anyone familiar with the deceased contact one of the numbers listed above. No other details are available at this time.

OSP is Oregon's only maximum-security prison, located in Salem, and houses over 2,000 male inmates. OSP is surrounded by a 25-foot-high wall with 10 towers. The facility has multiple special housing units including death row, disciplinary segregation, behavioral health, intermediate care housing, and an infirmary (with hospice) with 24-hour nursing care. OSP participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including the furniture factory, laundry, metal shop, and contact center. It provides a range of correctional programs and services including education, work-based education, inmate work crews, and pre-release services. OSP was established in 1866 and, until 1959, was Oregon's only prison.

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