ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -

The man who killed a St. Augustine Beach police officer nearly 40 years ago has died in prison.

Thomas DeSherlia had been serving a life sentence since 1975. The Florida Department of Corrections said he died of natural causes on Sunday at the age of 68.

Even though he was serving a life sentence, he periodically had parole hearings. It was denied at the last hearing in 2012.

DeSherlia was already wanted for murder and robbery in other states when he shot Deputy Marshal Ron Parker in January 1975.

Parker was the first member of the St. Augustine Beach Police Department to die in the line of duty.

A park in St. Augustine Beach is named in his memory.