News Releases

Deuel Vocational Institution Investigating Inmate Death as a Homicide

TRACY – Officials at Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI) are investigating the death of William Pratt, 61, as a homicide. Pratt was pronounced deceased on Aug. 7 at 6:50 p.m. at an outside long-term care facility from injuries he suffered in June.

On June 8 at approximately 11:10 a.m., inmate Helder Almeida attacked Pratt, repeatedly hitting him in the head and face with his fists. Correctional officers immediately responded and Almeida stopped his attack when they arrived on the scene. Pratt was taken by ambulance to a hospital for treatment of his head injuries and was later transferred to a long-term care facility where he remained until his death.

Pratt was committed to CDCR on May 8, 2017, to serve a nine-year sentence from Los Angeles County for assault with a deadly weapon, his second strike.

Almeida, 36, was admitted from Contra Costa County on Feb. 6, 2020, to serve two years, eight months for possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, possession/manufacturing/selling metal knuckles, possessing/owning a firearm by a felon or addict, and possession of an assault weapon.

The Investigative Services Unit at DVI is investigating this incident and the Office of the Inspector General was notified.

DVI, named for the late Senator Charles D. Deuel, has a reception center that processes newly arriving offenders and houses general population inmates. DVI provides a variety of academic, career technical, work and rehabilitation programs to prepare inmates for their return to society. The institution houses 1,471 inmates and employs approximately 1,080 people.


Contact: CDCR Press Office,