News Releases

Condemned Inmate Noel Plata Dies

SAN QUENTIN – Condemned inmate Noel Jesse Plata was found unresponsive in his cell on Dec. 14 at 3:50 a.m. at San Quentin State Prison. Staff performed life-saving measures and outside medical assistance was summoned; however, Plata was pronounced deceased at the institution at 4:37 a.m. Although no foul play is suspected, his death is under investigation and the exact cause of death will be determined by the coroner.

Plata, 45, was admitted from Orange County on May 28, 1999, to serve life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder with the use of a firearm, attempted first-degree murder, and enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury and use of a firearm.

While serving the life term, Plata and his crime partner Ronald Tri Tran were convicted of first-degree murder and both were sentenced to death in Orange County on Aug. 15, 2008, for the 1995 murder of Linda Park. Plata and Tran were admitted onto death row on Aug. 26, 2008. There are currently 710 people on California’s death row.

More information about capital punishment in California can be found here:

deceased condemned inmate Noel Jesse Plata

Contact: CDCR Press Office, (916) 445-4950 or