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Iowa cop-killer and robber dies in prison of natural causes

FORT MADISON – A convicted Iowa murderer and robber who once escaped prison died of natural causes, still a ward of the state.

Lawrence T. Gladson was pronounced dead at 11:15 p.m. March 21, 2017 in a Hospice room of the Iowa State Penitentiary where he had been housed due to a number of chronic illnesses. Gladson was 72 years old at the time of his death.

Gladson had been serving life without possibility of parole for first degree murder and three counts of first degree robbery from Jasper County. He was originally admitted to prison on January 11, 1983 for felony assault, extortion and false imprisonment from Warren County but escaped from the minimum security Correctional Release Center in Newton, Iowa on September 3, 1985 and committed the current offenses.

According to news reports, 10 days after his escape from the minimum-security facility, Gladson and an accomplice murdered a police officer on September 13, 1985 in Newton, Iowa while robbing a grocery store.

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