News Releases

Inmate Death at High Desert State Prison Under Investigation

Cellmate moved to segregation pending investigation

Susanville – Officials with the Investigative Services Unit at High Desert State Prison (HDSP), the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office, the Susanville Police Department and the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the February 24 death of an inmate as a homicide.

A 26-year-old HDSP inmate was found unresponsive in his cell at 7:05 a.m. Sunday. He was pronounced
dead at 8 a.m. The name of the inmate, which is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was admitted to HDSP from Yolo County on April 10, 2012, with a 22-year sentence for sodomy with a child under 14.

His cellmate, who has been identified as the suspect, was retained in the Administrative Segregation Unit pending investigation of the incident. The 40-year-old cellmate was admitted to HDSP from Los Angeles County on November 15, 2010, with a 110-year to life sentence for first-degree murder and unlawful sex with a victim under 16.

The Office of Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified.

High Desert State Prison in Lassen County opened in 1995 and houses 3,479 minimum-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates. The institution provides academic classes and vocational instruction and employs approximately 1,275 people.


February 26, 2013
Contact: Lt. Nick Albonico
(530) 251-5100 ext. 5501