News Releases

Kern Valley State Prison Officials Investigate the Death of an Inmate as a Homicide

DELANO – Officials at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) are investigating the death of 40-year-old inmate Omar Orane as a homicide.

On July 30, 2020 at 8:33 a.m., correctional officers immediately responded when inmate Richard Escalon began attacking Orane with a weapon. Escalon disregarded orders to stop, and officers quickly intervened using chemical agents to quell the attack and to recover the inmate-manufactured weapon.

Orane suffered multiple stab wounds to his upper body. He was taken to the institution’s Triage and Treatment Area for medical attention and then transported to an outside hospital for a higher level of care.

He was pronounced deceased at 3:40 p.m. by the on-duty physician.

Orane was received from Los Angeles County on July 24, 2003. He was serving a 25-year sentence for second-degree robbery with use of a firearm.  In 2016, he was convicted of an in–prison offense of possession/manufacture of a deadly weapon by a prisoner and sentenced to an additional two years and eight months.

Escalon, 42, was received from Fresno County on September 8, 2014, to serve a life sentence with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

KVSP officials placed the facility on a 24-hour threat assessment and limited movement of the incarcerated population. KVSP’s Investigative Services Unit and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office are investigating this incident. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

KVSP opened in 2005 and houses 3,538 minimum-, medium-, maximum- and high-security custody inmates. KVSP offers academic classes and vocational programs and employs approximately 1,800 people. For more information, visit

inmate Richard Escalon
Richard Escalon

inmate Omar Orane
Omar Orane



Lt. John Melvin (661) 721-6314