SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate Raymond Edward Steele, 67, who was on California’s death row from Shasta County, was found unresponsive in his cell Wednesday evening, April 22, 2015, at San Quentin State Prison. He was pronounced dead at 7:37 p.m. at the prison. The cause of death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy. Steele was single-celled.
Steele was sentenced to death on July 24, 1990, by a Shasta County jury for the Aug. 5, 1988, murder by stabbing of Leann Thurman, who was under conservatorship as a result of brain damage suffered at birth. A convicted sex offender and murderer, Steele had been previously convicted in 1971 of the rape of a victim who lived next door to his aunt, and the second-degree murder of his 15-year-old babysitter, who had been stabbed eight times. Steele had been on death row since July 31, 1990.
Since 1978 when California reinstated capital punishment, 66 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 24 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, seven have died from other causes and two inmates’ causes of death are pending. There are 753 people on California’s death row.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2015
CONTACT: Lt. Sam Robinson