TEAM COVERAGE: Derrick Todd Lee dies at 47
BATON ROUGE - Convicted serial killer Derrick Todd Lee died shortly before 9 a.m. Thursday while receiving medical care at a local hospital, according to state corrections officials. He was 47.
Spokeswoman for the Department of Safety and Corrections Pam Laborde says an autopsy will be performed, and an official cause of death will be released when appropriate.
The death row inmate was rushed to the hospital to receive urgent medical attention for an unspecified condition early on Saturday morning. At the time, the Department of Safety and Corrections could only say that Lee was having medical problems, but could not go into further detail due to HIPAA laws. A release from the DS&C that confirmed Lee's death said the department can't make any further statements about Lee's medical condition or circumstances of his death due to federal and state privacy laws.
Some sources earlier this week indicated that Lee’s pacemaker could have failed.
The Baton Rouge Serial Killer was sentenced to death for the murder of Charlotte Murray Pace, who was stabbed 81 times and bludgeoned to death with a tire iron in May 2002. He was also serving a life sentence for the murder of Geralyn DeSoto. His conviction and sentence were upheld in September as the Louisiana Supreme Court rejected claims that his lawyer should have brought up evidence of mental illness.
The Lee case was distinguished by an early, high-profile use of DNA evidence to link Lee to five additional killings from 1998 to 2003. Diane Alexander, who survived an attack by Lee, was able to testify against him in both the Pace trial and for the murder in 2002 of Geralyn DeSoto. To learn more about the timeline of events that led to Lee's incarceration and eventual death, click here.