Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
James Dean Blum was pronounced dead due to natural causes at 7:58 a.m. on Tuesday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He was originally an inmate at the Iowa Medical and Classification Center in Coralville.
Blum was 81 years old at the time of his death.
Blum had been serving a 50-year sentence for the crime of second degree murder. His sentence began on February 22, 2011.
The Washington County man was convicted by a jury in 2011 for smothering his wife to death in their home a year earlier.
Blum was found guilty of second-degree murder in 67-year-old Patricia Blum's death. He faced 50 years in prison.
Testimony at the trial revealed Blum, a former Wellman City Council member, held his wife's head down into sofa cushions and smothered her until she quit breathing.
Blum waited nearly a half an hour to call 911 to report the death, according to testimony. Patricia died from asphyxiation.
The defense maintained Blum didn't kill his wife.