ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man who beat to death a friend more than 19 years ago has died in an Iowa prison.

The Messenger reports that 63-year-old Raymond Metz died Saturday evening in a hospice room at the Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa. The Iowa Corrections Department says he died of natural causes.

He'd been sent to prison for killing 47-year-old Don "Gypsy" Rundall in September 1998. At trial he took responsibility for killing Rundall in a Fort Dodge apartment but never admitted to the slaying. Investigators have said the two had been drinking.

Jurors convicted Metz of first-degree murder. The Iowa Appeals Court overturned that decision in 2001, saying prosecutors had acted improperly.

Metz later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was given a 50-year sentence.

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Information from: The Messenger, http://www.messengernews.net