State prison officials say a 56-year-old man serving a life sentence for kidnapping and stabbing a woman has died just days before he was scheduled for a parole hearing.
William Harrison Barbee of Sioux City was 17 when he kidnapped a woman at knifepoint from the parking lot of a grocery store. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping, attempted murder and theft and was sentenced to life in prison in 1983. Barbee is one of seven inmates resentenced in 2012 to life with the possibility of parole after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that sentencing a juvenile to die in prison is cruel and unusual punishment.
Barbee was scheduled to appear before the Iowa Board of Parole on July 27. The board had denied Barbee’s early release after previous reviews.
According to a news release from the Iowa Department of Corrections, Barbee died Saturday in the state prison in Fort Dodge from “an unexpected medical emergency.”