News Releases

Condemned Inmate James Crummel Dies of Suicide

SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate James Lee Crummel, 68, who was on death row for the 1979 murder of a 13-year-old boy, was found hanging in his cell at San Quentin State Prison.  Crummel was pronounced dead at 4:20 p.m. on Sunday, May 27. He was housed alone in his cell.
Crummel was received onto California’s death row on July 15, 2004.
He was sentenced to death on July 9, 2004, by a Riverside County jury for the April 13, 1979, kidnapping, sexual abuse and murder of 13-year-old James Wilfred Trotter, who disappeared on his way to school.  Trotter’s body was not found until 1990 and the identity of his body was not confirmed until 1996.
Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 57 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 20 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri; and six died from other causes.  There are 724 offenders on California’s death row.
May 29, 2012
Contact: Lt. Sam Robinson
(415) 454-1460 ext. 5008