News Releases

High Desert State Prison Investigating Inmate Death as a Homicide

SUSANVILLE – Officials at High Desert State Prison (HDSP) are investigating the death of inmate Juan M. Boyzo, 25, as a homicide.

On Monday Aug. 24 just after 8 p.m., Boyzo was attacked and stabbed by two inmates in a dayroom. Correctional officers used three exact-impact rounds to stop the attack. Boyzo suffered numerous puncture wounds to his head and back as well as several lacerations and abrasions. He was taken by ambulance to an outside hospital for treatment; however, he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at 9:48 p.m. on Aug. 24.

Boyzo was received from Monterey County on April 21, 2014, to serve 12 years for second-degree robbery and a street gang act in commission of a violent felony.

The suspects have been identified as Joseph M. Gama, 22, and Joseph B. Sua, 29. They were re-housed in the short-term restricted housing unit on administrative segregation status pending investigation.

Correctional officers recovered two inmate-made weapons at the scene.

This incident is being investigated by the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and HDSP’s Investigative Services Unit. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

Gama was received from Stanislaus County on July 19, 2016, to serve 15 years for assault with a firearm inflicting great bodily injury and a street gang act in commission of a violent felony.

Sua was received from Merced County on May 2, 2019, to serve seven years for possession of a controlled substance in jail or prison, his second strike.

HDSP, located in Lassen County, opened in 1995 and houses approximately 3,380 minimum-, medium-, and maximum-custody inmates. The prison provides academic classes, vocational instruction, work assignments and rehabilitation programs and employs more than 1,200 people.


Contact: CDCR Press Office,

Inmate Joseph Gama
Joseph Gama
Inmate Joseph Sua
Joseph Sua