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Man convicted 
of 2004 murder
at Ashton Park
dies in prison

A Des Moines resident convicted of first-degree murder in the June 2004 stabbing of Linda Kae McQuerrey in a Jasper County park has died in prison.

Hubert Lawrence Hardesty, 72, died of a stroke and complications from dementia at the Iowa State Penitentiary Hospice Care Unit in Fort Madison on Thursday, said Fred Scaletta of the Iowa Department of Corrections in a press release Friday afternoon.

Hardesty, then 64, was convicted in Jasper County District Court of stabbing 60-year-old McQuerrey and leaving her body in Ashton-Wildwood Park in northwest Jasper County. Jasper County Sheriff Mike Balmer reported after his initial investigation that multiple stab and cutting wounds to the victim’s head and neck were found.

Married at the time of McQuerrey’s murder, Hardesty admitted to law enforcement officials that he and his victim were involved in a sexual relationship. Witnesses said a man that resembled Hardesty frequented the victim’s Des Moines home in the days leading to her death.

Hardesty’s sentence began July 6, 2005, and he was serving life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Mike Mendenhall can be contacted at 792-3121 ext. 422 or via e-mail at mmendenhall@newtondailynews.com.