A former Pengilly man convicted of fatally shooting an Itasca County sheriff's deputy in 1981 will remain in prison.

Audie Lynn Fox, 61, was denied parole after appearing before a Minnesota Department of Corrections board last week, spokeswoman Sarah Latuseck said.

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Fox is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the execution-style killing of deputy Robert "Beefy" Lawson during an 18-hour standoff at his parents' Pengilly home on Oct. 29, 1981.

Lawson, who was off duty at the time, responded to the home at the request of Fox's estranged wife, Pam Fox, who had requested his help in picking up the couple's two children. Audie Lynn Fox, armed with a .357 pistol, was holding his aunt and two young children at the kitchen table when Lawson arrived.

Authorities said Fox demanded that Lawson provide him with a phone number for Pam Fox. When Lawson was unable to do so, Fox ordered him to the floor. He repeated the demand, counting to three, before shooting the deputy in the head.

Fox was convicted by a jury in April 1982. He did not dispute that he killed Lawson, but his attorney maintained that he was mentally ill and incapable of understanding his actions.

A number of appeals to the Minnesota Supreme Court have been unsuccessful, as have previous parole hearings in 1996 and 2006.

Latuseck said Fox will be eligible for another parole hearing in five years.