BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man who spent 40 years on death row for killing a woman who accused him of rape died Tuesday of natural causes, according to corrections officials.

Harvey L. Heishman III, 74, died while housed at the infirmary at San Quentin State Prison, according to a news release from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. His exact cause of death will be determined by the Marin County Sheriff’s Office’s coroner division.

Heishman was sentenced to death March 30, 1981, in Alameda County after being found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of Nancy Lugassy.

According to appellate court documents, Heishman met Lugassy in July 1979 and she invited him to her home. She later ran outside crying and told a neighbor she had been raped. She identified Heishman from a photo lineup and he was arrested and charged.

Heishman posted bail and was released.

On Nov. 1, 1979, Lugassy was found shot dead in her front yard. Heishman was arrested and at trial two witnesses testified to helping him plan the murder, documents said.

During the penalty phase, prosecutors presented evidence including the testimony of five women who said they had been sexually assaulted by Heishman. The jury sentenced him to death.

There has been a moratorium on the death penalty in California since 2019, and the last execution occurred in 2006. There are currently 687 condemned inmates in the state.