News Releases

Kern Valley State Prison Officials Investigating the Death of an Incarcerated Person as a Homicide

DELANO – Officials at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the June 11 death of inmate Artemio Gomez, 40, as a homicide.

Incarcerated person Alberto Mejia
Alberto Mejia

At approximately 8:15 a.m., KVSP correctional officers immediately responded when inmates Marcos Lomeli and Alberto Mejia began attacking Gomez with weapons. Lomeli and Mejia disregarded orders to stop their actions, as officers quickly intervened using chemical agents to quell the attack and subsequently recovered two inmate-manufactured weapons.

Gomez suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken to the institution’s Treatment and Triage Area for medical attention where he was pronounced deceased at 8:45 p.m.

Gomez was admitted from Orange County on March 20, 2002, to serve 29 years and four months for carjacking with the use of a firearm, second-degree robbery and unlawful sex with a victim under 18 years of age. In 2008, he was convicted of an in-prison offense of battery on a non-inmate and was sentenced by Imperial County to an additional three years. In 2012, he was sentenced in San Luis Obispo County to an additional two years for possessing a controlled substance while in prison.

KVSP investigators have identified inmates Marcos Lomeli and Alberto Mejia as suspects in this case.

Lomeli, 37, was sentenced in Los Angeles County on May 15, 2013, to serve life without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder, carjacking, second-degree murder, kidnapping, and dissuading or intimidating a witness. In 2018, he also received an additional 14-year, eight month sentence from Kern County for two counts of assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury while in prison.

deceased inmate Artemio Gomez
Artemio Gomez

Mejia, 27, was admitted from Los Angeles County on Oct. 23, 2015, to serve life with the possibility of parole for two counts of second-degree murder with the intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury or death and one year, four months for battery on a peace officer. In 2017, he was sentenced in Kern County to an additional 15 years for assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury while in prison. In 2019, he was sentenced to two years in Kern County for an in-prison offense of possessing, or manufacturing a deadly weapon. On Feb. 2, 2021, he was sentenced to an additional six years and eight months in Kings County for assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury as well as two counts of possessing or manufacturing a deadly weapon while in prison.

The Kern County Sherriff’s Office and the KVSP Investigative Services Unit are investigating the incident. The Office of the Inspector General has been notified.

incarcerated person Marcos Lomeli
Marcos Lomeli

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


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