News Releases

Update: California State Prison-Sacramento Continues Investigation of Riot and Homicide of Hugo Pinell

FOLSOM – California State Prison-Sacramento investigators are continuing their probe of the homicide of inmate Hugo Pinell and the subsequent riot that involved approximately 70 inmates.

Two inmates allegedly stabbed Pinell at approximately 12:55 p.m. on August 12. The riot started immediately after the attack. Pinell succumbed to his wounds and was pronounced dead at 1:22 p.m.

Correctional peace officers used significant amounts of pepper spray, approximately 160 rounds from less-lethal munitions and three warning shots fired from the Mini-14 rifle to stop the disturbance that lasted for about 20 minutes.

So far, correctional officers have recovered at least 15 inmate-made weapons. The B Facility maximum-security general population yard is still being processed as a crime scene. Inmate movement and programming on B Facility is limited to facilitate the ongoing investigation.

A total of 29 inmates were injured. Eighteen were treated for their injuries at the institution. Eleven were transported to outside hospitals for treatment of stab and puncture wounds, broken bones, head trauma and other serious injuries. Five of the 11 inmates were admitted; one is in an intensive care unit in critical condition suffering from a severe head injury and multiple stab wounds.

No staff members were injured in the disturbance.

Two inmates have been identified as suspects in the alleged murder of Pinell.

Hugo Pinell, 71, was serving six life sentences for murder, rape, battery, aggravated assault and voluntary manslaughter.

Pinell, who was born in Nicaragua, was convicted of rape in 1965 in Marin County and sentenced to life with the possibility of parole. Pinell began his sentence on March 19,

1965, at San Quentin State Prison, where he was convicted in 1968 of attacking a correctional officer and was transferred to Folsom State Prison. There, he attacked another correctional officer and was transferred to Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, where in March 1971 he stabbed and killed Correctional Officer R.J. McCarthy.

Pinell was involved in the August 1971 uprising at San Quentin State Prison that resulted in the murder of three correctional officers: Paul Krasenes, Jere Graham and Frank Deleon. Following his convictions and subsequent life sentences for the murders and assaults, Pinell was incarcerated at California State Prison-Corcoran and Pelican Bay State Prison.

Until his transfer to California State Prison-Sacramento on January 8, 2014, as a result of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s case-by-case reviews of gang-validated inmates, Pinell was the longest-serving Security Housing Unit inmate. He had been denied parole 10 times, most recently in May 2014.

California State Prison-Sacramento, opened in 1986, is a maximum-security prison that houses approximately 2,300 general population inmates and employs about 1,700 people. The institution houses inmates serving long sentences and those who have proven to be management problems at other institutions. California State Prison-Sacramento also houses inmates requiring specialized mental health treatment.

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AUGUST 13, 2015
(916) 445-4950