News Releases

Salinas Valley State Prison Investigating Inmate Homicide

SOLEDAD – The Investigative Services Unit at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) is investigating a homicide of an inmate that occurred at 12:33 a.m. on Sunday, October 26, 2014.

The incident occurred inside a cell on Facility B, one of the institution’s maximum security yards. Staff approached the cell after observing movement late in the evening. As staff arrived and looked inside the cell, the victim was observed lying on his bunk bleeding from what appeared to be multiple stab wounds. Life-saving measures proved unsuccessful as the victim succumbed to his injuries. The victim’s next of kin have been notified.

The victim, inmate Luis Manuel Baladez, 23, was committed to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on September 18, 2013 from Los Angeles County to serve a two-year, eight-month term for carrying a concealed weapon.

SVSP investigators have identified Baladez’s cellmate, Horacio Gonzales, 25, as the primary suspect. Gonzales was committed to CDCR on February 19, 2014 to serve a life sentence for attempted murder with enhancements.

Gonzales has been rehoused to SVSP’s Administrative Segregation Unit pending the outcome of the investigation and possible criminal charges related to this incident.

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 3,493 minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates and employs 1,450 people.

OCTOBER 27, 2014

(831) 678-5554