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Utah Dept. of Corrections
Serial killer Myron Lance.

SALT LAKE CITY — Serial killer Myron Lance, sentenced to death 43 years ago but later spared by the U.S. Supreme Court, died Monday at University Hospital of natural causes. He was 69.

His death was confirmed by state Department of Corrections spokesman Steve Gehrke.

Lance was convicted of murder in 1967 along with Walter Kelbach in the shooting deaths of James Sisemore, 47, and Fred Lillie, 20, in a 1966 killing spree that also claimed four other people. The pair was sentenced to death; Lance chose firing squad, and Kelbach chose hanging.

But when the U.S. Supreme Court deemed the death penalty unconstitutional in 1972, their sentences were commuted to life in prison. They were denied parole several times.

When prosecutors tried to press charges years later for one of the other killings, a 5th Circuit Court judge ruled it was too late and would violate the pair's rights. Kelbach is still in prison.

— Paul Koepp