News Releases

Condemned inmate Herminio Serna dies of unknown causes

SAN QUENTIN — Condemned inmate Herminio Serna, 53, who was on California’s death row from Santa Clara County, was pronounced dead on Monday, December 3, 2018, at 8:37 p.m. at San Quentin State Prison. The cause of death is unknown pending the results of an autopsy.

Serna was sentenced to death by a Santa Clara County jury on November 21, 1997, for the murders of Esteban Guzman, Marcos Baca and Sheila Apodaca. Serna’s crime partners James Trujeque, 66, and Bobby Lopez, Jr., 53, were sentenced to death as well in 1997 for a series of gang-related murders in the San Jose area.

Serna had been on California’s death row since November 26, 1997.

Since 1978, when California reinstated capital punishment, 79 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 25 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, one was executed in Virginia, 11 have died from other causes and three – including Serna – are pending a cause of death. There are currently 741 offenders on California’s death row.


Tuesday, December 4, 2018

CONTACT: Lt. Sam Robinson, (415) 455-5000