SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — California officials say an 81-year-old condemned inmate has died while awaiting execution for two murders he committed 36 years ago.
They said Thursday that Royal Hayes died Tuesday at an outside hospital. His cause of death is awaiting the results of an autopsy.
He was sentenced to death in 1986 for the December 1981 slayings of Lauren de Laet and Donald MacVicar.
Investigators say that he separately lured each victim to a remote location on the Santa Cruz campus of the University of California on the pretext of giving them cocaine to repay a debt.
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He told the victims they needed to be searched then shot each in the back of the head. He buried the dismembered bodies in previously dug shallow graves.
California hasn’t executed anyone since 2006.