News Releases

Salinas Valley State Prison Investigating Inmate Death as a Homicide

SOLEDAD – Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) officials are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide.

At around 11:05 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, staff members were performing security checks, and observed inmate George Argueta, 26, lying on the floor in his cell. An alarm was sounded and responding staff immediately removed Argueta from the cell and began administering life-saving measures. One suspect was also removed from the cell without incident, and one inmate-manufactured weapon was recovered at the scene.

Argueta sustained multiple stab wounds to his upper chest. He later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at 11:26 a.m.

Inmate Jacob L. Castro, 38, has been named as the suspect. He is being held in SVSP’s Administrative Investigation Unit as the incident is investigated. The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office is assisting in the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

Argueta was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) on Aug. 22, 2012, from Santa Cruz County to serve a 12-year sentence for one count of second-degree robbery with use of a firearm. He was scheduled to parole in 2024.

Castro was received by CDCR on Sep. 27, 2013, from Alameda County to serve 25 years to life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder. In January 2015, he was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon on an inmate and sentenced to an additional eight years.

SVSP opened in May 1996 on approximately 300 acres in Monterey County. The institution provides long-term housing for approximately 3,600 minimum- and maximum- custody male inmates and employs 1,600 people.


Feb. 13, 2017

Contact: Lt. Eduardo Mazariegos

(831) 678-5554