An inmate serving a life sentence for a murder he committed in Waterloo has died in prison.

In a press release, Iowa Department of Corrections officials confirmed that Robert Taylor is the 17th inmate to die of complications related to COVID-19 and other pre-existing medical conditions. The 72-year-old was pronounced dead at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center Sunday evening.

Court records show Taylor was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his wife, Lacie Mae, at the couple's Waterloo home in the early morning hours of June 2, 1979. Taylor began serving his prison sentence on Jan. 26, 1980.

According to a court document, Taylor's wife and three children were absent when he returned home from work just before midnight on June 1. During one of three overnight phone calls Taylor made to Lacie's mother, he talked about a letter he found, written by Lacie, in which she referred to another man. The records show that Taylor called an ambulance for his wife at 5:46 AM. Her body was then discovered on the floor of an upstairs bedroom.

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