MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — An inmate serving two life sentences in an Atmore prison for the murder of two Mobile County Sheriff’s Office deputies has died, according to a release from Alabama State Representative Shane Stringer.

Jerre Chatom was serving two life sentences for the murders of MCSO deputies David Beck and Robert Stolz in 1975. According to the release, Chatom was with his accomplice, David Wilson, while being pursued by Sheriff Ronald Kelso in 1975. The two men opened fire on the sheriff with a shotgun.

Other deputies began to join the pursuit before Chatom and Wilson abandoned their vehicle and ran on foot at the Alabama-Mississippi border to avoid being arrested. Deputies Beck and Stolz chased the two men and were shot and killed during a gun battle, according to the release. Another deputy, Sam Morgan, was shot in the arm.

Wilson was killed in the shootout and Chatom was captured after crossing the Mississippi border on foot. Chatom was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. He won a new trial on appeal, but at the end of the second trial, he was sentenced to two second-degree murder convictions and sentenced to life in prison again.

Rep. Stringer said, “The death of this convicted cop killer finally ends a 48-year nightmare for the families of Deputy Beck and Deputy Stolz and the members of the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office. As a career law enforcement officer, I know that the pain of losing a colleague or
loved one in the line of duty does not go away, and while the long overdue death of Jerre Chatom will not bring the deputies back, it does bring a measure of closure to an incident that should have never occurred.”

Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch also made a statement regarding Chatom’s death. “The death of Chatom gives the families of Stolz and Beck a final chapter of closure. These two men gave their lives in the line of duty and we will forever remember them and the sacrifice they gave to others in seeking justice,” said Burch.