GARNER – A former Britt man has died in prison while serving a life sentence for killing a Garner councilman in 1996.

Robert Charles Richey died at 9:40 a.m. Sunday in a hospice room of the Iowa Medical and Classification Center near Oakdale, according to the Iowa Department of Corrections. He was 74 and had been housed at the center due to a chronic illness.

Larkin was shot and killed on May 8, 1996. Authorities said Richey shot Larkin with a shotgun through a window because he was angry that Larkin had been dating his ex-wife, according to Globe Gazette archives. Richey claimed he was drunk at his own home at the time of the shooting.

He was found guilty during a December 1996 jury trial in Bremer County, where the case had been moved for a venue change, and sentenced to life in prison.

Larkin had been a member of the Garner City Council.

A district court judge overturned the conviction in 2001, but that ruling was overturned by an Iowa Court of Appeals ruling that reinstated the conviction. In 2013, then Gov. Terry Branstad declined to commute Richey’s life sentence.

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