SACRAMENTO -- Prison officials say an inmate at San Quentin State Prison has died of natural causes while awaiting execution for a 1994 slaying in Sacramento County.

The state corrections department says Richard Ray Parson died at an outside hospital Monday. He was 67.

Parsons was on death row for the murder of Theresa Schmiedt during a robbery. She was a nurse at convalescent home who was beaten to death with a claw hammer. Her purse, check card and bank card were stolen.

She was the mother of an inmate Parson had met in prison.

The department says 53 condemned inmates have died of natural causes since the death penalty was reinstated in 1978, while just 13 have been executed.

There are 713 inmates on California's death row.



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