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John Du Pont, heir to chemical fortune, dies in prison at 72

December 9, 2010 | 11:39 am

Chemical-fortune heir John Du Pont, who killed an Olympic gold-medal-winning wrestler at his palatial estate in 1996, has died in a Pennsylvania prison. He was 72.

Du Pont was found unresponsive in his cell Thursday morning at Laurel Highlands state prison near Somerset, Pa., according to state prisons spokeswoman Susan McNaughton. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital.

Du Pont fancied himself a patron to wrestlers and built a world-class training facility at his estate in Newtown Square, outside Philadelphia.

In 1996, he shot and killed wrestler David Schultz and then barricaded himself in his home for two days. He was found guilty but mentally ill and was sentenced to 13 to 30 years in jail.

McNaughton says Du Pont recently had been ill, but she didn't elaborate.

-- Associated Press