SAN QUENTIN, Calif. — A California man awaiting execution for killing an armored car guard has died, leaving behind a mystery over what happened to more than $200,000 stolen in the deadly heist.

Corrections officials said Thursday that 48-year-old Joe Henry Abbott died Wednesday of unknown causes after he was found unresponsive alone in his death row cell at San Quentin State Prison.

He was sentenced to death by a San Bernardino County jury in 2006 for the slaying of Brink’s armored car guard Samuel Saenz in 2000.

Abbott shot Saenz twice in the back of the head as he left an Ontario branch of Bank of America. He grabbed a bag containing more than $202,000 before shooting Saenz in the head again.

He fled with accomplices and the money has never been recovered.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.