A man who was serving a life sentence for the 2005 murder of a Davenport man has died in prison. Corrections officials say 55-year-old Steven Deitz died from liver failure Tuesday at University Hospitals in Iowa City. He was an inmate at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.
Deitz was serving a life sentence after being convicted in the November 2005 murder of 37-year-old Charles Lee “Chris” Nixon. Prosecutors said the Davenport man was killed with an ax and his burned body was found a couple days later in an Illinois farm field.
Deitz and another man, William Robert Smith, were staying at Nixon’s home. They were eventually captured – driving Nixon’s car – in Virginia. Smith is serving a 25 year prison sentence after agreeing to testify against Deitz.