Official: Murder-for-hire inmate died of heart disease

March 6, 2020 GMT

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A man serving more than 80 years in prison for two separate murder-for-hire plots died of natural causes, a Johnson County official said.

Clayton Schuneman with the county medical examiner’s office told The Gazette that Justin Dewitt died of a heart disease. Dewitt’s body was found Feb. 7 at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville, where he had been serving time since July 2018.


Dewitt was sentenced in 2018 to 35 years in prison for a murder-for-hire scheme in which he sought to have someone kill his business associate, the associate’s wife and their two children, then ages 2 and 4. He pleaded guilty in that case to two counts of attempted murder and two counts of solicitation to commit murder.

In 2019 Dewitt was s entenced to 50 years for trying to organize from behind bars the killings of witnesses in his first case so they couldn’t testify against him. In that case, he was convicted of three counts of attempted murder.