The man who gunned down Albuquerque Police Officer Gerald Cline in 1983 has died in prison.
Joel Compton, 65, was initially sentenced to death for the murder, but that sentence was commuted by New Mexico Gov. Toney Anaya in 1986.
Cline was responding to a call about a suspicious armed person on Feb. 24, 1983, at the Tewa Lodge on Central Avenue when Compton ambushed him, shooting him in the heart.
Cline’s family traveled to Santa Fe every few years to speak at Compton’s parole hearings and fight his release. Compton was due for his next parole hearing on March 19.
The Corrections Department has not said what caused Compton’s death.