WASCO – Wasco State Prison – Reception Center (WSP-RC) officials and the Kern County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide. The inmate, whose name is being withheld pending notification of his next-of-kin, was found on July 8 at approximately 10:30 p.m deceased in his assigned cell.
The deceased inmate, age 54, was received at WSP-RC from Los Angeles County on May 17, 2011, as a parole violator returned to custody for the commitment offense of possession of alcohol and assault with a deadly weapon. He was currently pending a hearing before the Board of Parole Hearings prior to this incident regarding his release date. He also received a 16 month sentence from Los Angeles County in April 2010, for resisting a peace officer with force and violence, assault with a deadly weapon and petty theft with priors.
The suspect in this case is identified as a 31-year old inmate who was received from Orange County on May 12, with an 11-year sentence for carjacking. The suspect also has non-controlling offenses for carjacking and vehicle theft.
The Office of the Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified.
WSP-RC’s primary mission is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify and evaluate new inmates, physically and mentally, and determine their security level, program requirements and appropriate institutional placement. WSP-RC was opened in February 1991, houses approximately 5,800 inmates and employs approximately 1,700 people.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2011
Contact: Lt. R. Mazuka
(661) 758-8400 ext 5013