Nebraska authorities say death row inmate convicted in 1985 cult killings has died in prison

Nebraska authorities say an inmate on death row for the 1985 cult killings of two people, including a 5-year-old boy, had died in custody.

Spokeswoman Jessica Houseman for the Tecumseh State Correctional Institution in southeast Nebraska confirmed Monday that 66-year-old Michael Ryan died in prison. Houseman said he died around 5:45 p.m. Sunday. She said an autopsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.

Ryan was convicted in the torture and killing of 26-year-old James Thimm at a southeast Nebraska farm near Rulo, where Ryan led a cult, and in the beating death Luke Stice, the 5-year-old son of a cult member.

Ryan has been on death row since his convictions.