Man Sentenced to Death for 1980 Killing of Garden Grove Police Officer Dies of Unknown Causes

John George Brown sits in court during his second trial in 2000. Brown, 71, was found dead at San Quentin State Prison on Sunday. (Credit: Kevin P. Casey/Los Angeles Times)

John George Brown sits in court during his second trial in 2000. Brown, 71, was found dead at San Quentin State Prison on Sunday. (Credit: Kevin P. Casey/Los Angeles Times)

The killer of a California police officer has died of unknown causes in his cell at San Quentin State Prison.

Corrections officials said Monday that 71-year-old John George Brown was found unresponsive Sunday evening.

Brown was sentenced to death in Orange County in 1982 for the murder two years earlier of 27-year-old Garden Grove Officer Donald Reed. Brown shot at Reed and two other officers as they tried to arrest him on a felony warrant.

He was convicted of first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and assaulting a police officer.

Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this year imposed a moratorium on executions.

California has carried out 13 executions since 1978. Another 80 condemned inmates have died from natural causes.

The nation’s largest death row holds 734 offenders.

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