News Releases

Inmate Death in High Desert State Prison Is Under Investigation

SUSANVILLE – High Desert State Prison (HDSP) officials are investigating the death of inmate Jesse Walden, who was pronounced dead about 3 a.m. July 25, 2011.

The circumstances of the death are suspicious, and his cellmate has been placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit pending investigation.

Walden, 25, was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from Santa Clara County on October 28, 2010, and was serving a 25-year-to-life sentence for first-degree murder. He arrived at HDSP on May 5, 2011.

His cellmate, Charles Shifflett Jr., is the main suspect in the homicide. Shifflett was received by CDCR from Siskiyou County on June 10, 2010, and is serving a 21-year, eight-month sentence for assault with force causing great bodily injury and first-degree burglary with enhancements for criminal gang activity. Shifflett, 27, arrived at HDSP on June 10, 2011.

The case is under investigation by the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, the Susanville Police Department, the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the CDCR Investigative Services Unit at HDSP. The Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Independent Review, was notified.

HDSP houses 4,600 minimum-, medium- and maximum-custody inmates. Opened in 1995, the Lassen County institution provides academic classes and vocational instruction. It employs more than 1,400 people.

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JULY 25, 2011
(530) 251-5100 EXT 5501