FORT MADISON — A man sent to prison for his involvement in a 1969 crime spree in northern Iowa has died in the Iowa State Penitentiary.

According to Iowa court records, Elvin Gilroy was one of four men who broke out of a jail in St. Cloud, Minnesota in June of 1969. They stole a county car, ditched that vehicle and stole another car. They made their way south and robbed a grocery store in Spirit Lake, a filling station in Emmetsburg and the Fareway Store in Algona. Melvin Bay, the store manager in Algona, was shot during the robbery. He died ten days later.

Gilroy did not pull the trigger, but he was convicted of robbery and murder and sentenced to life. State officials say Gilroy died last week in the Iowa State Penitentiary’s hospice, where he had been transferred due to a chronic illness. He was 82.