News Releases

California State Prison‑Corcoran Investigating Inmate Death as a Homicide

CORCORAN – California State Prison-Corcoran (CSP-COR) officials are investigating the death of inmate Dennis Cruz, 28, as a homicide.

This morning at approximately 10:40 a.m., inmate Jonathan Lewis, 35, chased inmate Cruz on the Facility 3B yard, a maximum-security facility. The two fought. Lewis pulled out an inmate-made weapon and stabbed Cruz. Responding officers used pepper spray to stop the attack. They administered CPR; however, Cruz died of his injuries and was pronounced dead at 11:10 a.m. in the prison’s correctional treatment center.

Cruz had been serving a six-year sentence from Los Angeles County for second-degree robbery and a six-year sentence from Riverside County for carjacking. He had been in prison since March 24, 2009.

Lewis, the suspect, is serving a 16-year sentence from San Diego County for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury. He was also serving a four-year sentence from Kings County for assault by a prisoner with a deadly weapon. Lewis has been in prison since February 9, 2006.

CSP-COR’s Investigative Services Unit has launched an investigation into the incident. The Kings County District Attorney’s Office was notified, as was the Office of the Inspector General.

California State Prison, Corcoran opened in 1988, employs approximately 2,500 people and houses 3,223 minimum-, medium-, maximum-, and high-security custody inmates. The prison provides inmates with work, vocational, academic, educational, self-help, religious and other rehabilitative programs and has a fully licensed correctional treatment center.


September 13, 2017

CONTACT: Lt. Edward Sanchez

(559) 992-6104