News Releases

Serious Assault on Salinas Valley Prison Inmate under Investigation

SOLEDAD – The Investigative Services Unit at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) is investigating a serious assault on an inmate that occurred just after 10:00 am today.

The incident started when two inmates battered a third inmate causing him to lose consciousness and so was not able to defend himself. Quick response enabled staff to limit the incident to the three inmates.  

The two attacking inmates were ordered to stop. When they failed to do so, a warning shot was fired but the attack continued. Another shot was fired and one of the suspects – Jose Espinoza – was shot in the hand. He was subsequently transported by helicopter to an area hospital. The suspect’s injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. The inmate who was attacked regained consciousness and does not appear to have suffered serious injury.

No employees were injured in this incident.

SVSP investigators identified Salvador Pineda, 28, of Riverside County and Jose Espinoza, 41, of Kern County as the suspects in the attack. Pineda is serving a 25-years-to-life sentence from Riverside County for second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder. Espinoza is serving an 18-years-to-life sentence from Kern County for first-degree murder.

SVSP administrators have limited inmate movement on the facility where the incident occurred to facilitate the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General was notified about the incident.

SVSP opened May 1996 on approximately 300 acres in Monterey County. The institution provides long-term housing for 3,530 minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates and employs 1,395 people.

MARCH 7, 2014
(831) 678-5554