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Inmate Dorothea Puente Dies of Natural Causes

CHOWCHILLA – Central California Women’s Facility inmate Dorothea Puente, 82, who had been serving two life-without-parole sentences for two counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances and a concurrent 15-years-to-life sentence for second-degree murder, died of natural causes at 10:15 a.m. Sunday, March 27, 2011.

Puente was convicted on December 10, 1993, by a Monterey County jury – a change of venue from Sacramento County – for the murders of Leona Carpenter, Dorothy Miller and Benjamin Fink, tenants in her Sacramento boarding house. The jury could not reach a verdict on six other murder charges.

Puente was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on December 17, 1993.

In 1982, Puente was sent to state prison from Sacramento County with a five-year sentence for giving drugs to aid in a felony and grand theft. She was released to parole on February 19, 1985, and discharged from parole in 1986.

TRAVIS WRIGHT, CCWF (559) 665-6002