Inmate’s death ruled natural

Posted Sept. 28, 2010, at 9:40 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — The state medical examiner’s office has deemed the early August death of a prison inmate who was serving a 27-year sentence for murder as natural.

James Nadeau, 66, was found dead on Aug. 4 in his cell at the Maine State Prison in Warren.

Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety, has said Nadeau had medical problems and that state police investigators did not suspect foul play.

The medical examiner determined that Nadeau’s death was the result of arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease, a representative from the medical examiner’s office said Tuesday. “It’s a natural death.”

Nadeau, formerly of Norway, was convicted in August 2003 in the Aug. 1, 2002, shooting death of his ex-girlfriend Barbara Bassett at her home in Sweden. Police said Nadeau killed Bassett, who was a former selectman in Sweden and a court advocate for abused women, after she broke off their yearlong relationship.

Bassett’s mother, Jean Dixon, said Tuesday that she now has closure.

“Barbie sure didn’t deserve it,” she said of her daughter’s murder. “It’s been eight years, but it hasn’t been any easier. It has been terribly hard on all of us.”

In addition to Dixon, who lives in Limestone, Bassett is survived by a sister and a brother, she said.

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