Ex-Death row cop killer saved from execution dies after 65 years behind bars

Former Death row inmate and one of America's longest-serving prisoners, Warren John Nutter, has died after 65 years behind bars for killing a police officer.

The prisoner spent six decades in jail after being saved from being hanged when his death sentence was commuted.

The then 18-year-old went from the state's second-youngest felon sentenced to death by hanging to its longest-serving prisoner.

The 84-year-old spent his life in prison after pleading guilty to killing Independence police officer Harold Pearce in January 1956.

Nutter died on Wednesday after battling a chronic illness in a hospice at the Iowa State Penitentiary.

At the time of his imprisonment, Nutter was just 18 when he shot 52-year-old Pearce.

Nutter was originally sentenced to death by hanging making him the second-youngest lowan scheduled to hang but later his sentence was ultimately commuted to life in prison.

The state corrections department confirmed to the Des Moines Register that Nutter was Iowa's longest-serving inmate and the fifth longest-serving in the US prison system.

Records show that Nutter shot Pearce during questioning about a gas station robbery.

Nutter and four other teens were being questioned at the local sheriff's office when he reportedly asked to use the bathroom, climbed out a window, grabbed a shotgun from a car, and fired it at Pearce who was trying to stop the group from fleeing.

Nutter was captured by police about three and a half miles away from the crime scene.

On February 10, 1956, Nutter was sentenced to be hung.

However, death penalty opponents made the case national news making Nutter a household name in Iowa.

They managed to raise enough awareness to get his sentence to be commuted to life in prison.

When Nutter was 14-years-old he was sentenced to juvenile detention for theft and forgery.

He had grown up in a broken home and was out on parole when he shot police officer Pearce.

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