State Penitentiary Inmate Dies At Hospital After Falling Ill

An inmate serving a life sentence for a bank robbery that turned deadly has died after falling ill while serving two concurrent life sentences at the South Dakota State Penitentiary.

James Elmer Smith robbed a bank in Fairview, SD in October 1989.

Smith, and an accomplice Paul Wood, were demanding money from a teller when customer Mary Stensland came into the bank to deposit money for her church. Smith shot her.

The 63-year-old inmate at the South Dakota State Penitentiary died Friday at a Sioux Falls Hospital.

The state Department of Corrections says an autopsy is being conducted.

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