Iowa Man Serving Life for Killing Infant Dies in Prison

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File-This Dec. 25, 2017, file photo shows Anamosa State Penitentiary in Anamosa, Iowa. (Liz Martin/The Gazette via AP, File)

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa man convicted of stabbing his 3-week-old son to death in 1982 has died in prison, officials said.

The Iowa Department of Corrections said in a news release that Michael Cecil Craney, 68, of Jesup, died Wednesday — likely of natural causes — at the Anamosa State Penitentiary.

Craney was convicted and sentenced in late 1982 of first-degree murder in the death of his son, Matthew, the Courier reported. Police have said that on May 5, 1982, Craney threw the infant to the floor of the family home and attacked the baby with a kitchen knife as the child’s mother tried to save her son.

The baby died after sustaining multiple stab wounds, a fractured skull and a slit throat, medical examiners said.

Craney’s attorney argued at trial that his client was insane at the time of the killing and that he had told his wife that night he was possessed and thought the baby was possessed.

Craney would later tell a psychiatrist he through the baby was “subhuman” and said that even if he spent the rest of his life in prison, “there won’t be a devilish force unleashed in the world,” according to the newspaper’s archives.

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