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A death row inmate who killed two men in the 1980s died of natural causes Wednesday in Nashville.

Michael Wayne Howell, 54, died at 10:08 a.m. at the Lois M. DeBerry Special Needs Facility in Nashville, according to the Tennessee Department of Corrections.

Howell had been on death row since 1989, when he was convicted of the 1987 murder of Memphis convenience store clerk Alvin Kennedy.

Within 24 hours of that killing, he shot and killed 23-year-old Tinker Air Force Base Sgt. Charlene Calhoun in Oklahoma, for which he was also sentenced to death. His crime spree crossed multiple states and ended in a shootout with Florida authorities.

He twice appealed the Oklahoma case, convincing a court to throw out his death sentence because deputies talked to a juror and drank with her in a hotel room before he was sentenced.

His second appeal was thrown out.

Howell also made legal waves in 2001 when one of his filings in federal court led a judge to order federal marshals to seize Tennessee's electric chair.

That unusual move followed a finding of contempt-of-court against prosecutors, who had prevented a defense expert from accessing evidence. The contempt-of-court order fined the state for failing to cooperate, and Howell's lawyer asked for the electric chair to be seized as collateral. He said then that the move was largely symbolic and that he expected the $6,857 fine to be paid before the equipment could be seized.

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