One of Minnesota's serial killers has died in prison.
Billy Glaze – who was convicted in 1989 of raping and murdering three American Indian women in Minneapolis in 1986 and 1987 – died Tuesday morning, his attorney confirmed to BringMeTheNews.
Glaze, 72, had recently been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, a news release says.
He was serving life in prison without parole in a Delaware facility for killing Kathy Bullman, 19, Angeline Whitebird-Sweet, 26, and Angela Green, 21. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said in all three cases, Glaze "savagely beat" each of them to death, "sexually mutilated them with large sticks" and "left their naked bodies on display."
But Glaze maintained his innocence, eventually seeking the help of the Minnesota Innocence Project.
The organization, along with the law firm Dorsey and Whitney, had been arguing in court that new DNA evidence not only proved Glaze's innocence, but also implicated another man – who had been convicted in the rape of another American Indian woman around the same time – at the scene of at least two of the killings, a 2014 news release said. (During Glaze's trial, which was widely covered, little physical evidence was presented – and DNA testing wasn't a thing back then, MPR News notes.)
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office disagreed. In a statement last year, it said Glaze should not receive a new trial because "the new evidence is inconclusive and unpersuasive" and "does not meet the clear and convincing standard required for a new trial."
However, Glaze's attorneys continued to fight, filing the final briefing in support of his case in October 2015, the release says. But Glaze died before a ruling was made.
Glaze's attorneys remained confident he would be exonerated. Ed Magarian, a partner at Dorsey and Whitney, released a statement Tuesday saying: "We’re heartbroken, particularly as we were confident that Billy would have been exonerated in 2016, and released from prison as a free man."
Magarian notes they are looking into what legal options there are to clear his name following his death – something Glaze would want.