TN death row inmate dies without execution

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee death row inmate has died at a Nashville hospital of natural causes.

The state Department of Correction said William Stevens was 60. He died early Monday.

Stevens was convicted of especially aggravated robbery and two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to death in Davidson County in 1997.

Further from the Nashville Scene’s blog:

Stevens was convicted of especially aggravated robbery and two counts of first degree murder for the 1997 deaths of his wife, 45-year-old Sandra Jean Stevens, and her mother, 75-year-old Myrtle Wilson. Stevens was found guilty of hiring 18-year-old Corey Milliken to murder the two women and stage a burglary at their home. He was sentenced to death in 1999. Milliken is serving a life sentence.

…Stevens is the first death row inmate to die since Donald Strouth died of natural causes — after nearly 40 years on death row — in May of last year.

Tennessee has not executed anyone since 2009. The state set execution dates for 10 men in early 2014, but in April 2015 all executions were put on hold. After Stevens’ death Monday, 65 men and one woman remain on death row.