WASCO – Officials at Wasco State Prison (WSP) are investigating the death of Scott Gunter, 59, as a homicide.
Gunter was found unresponsive in his cell shortly after 5 p.m. on March 15. Staff immediately started life-saving measures and rushed Gunter to the Triage and Treatment Area, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased at 5:34 p.m. The Kern County Coroner will determine the official cause of death.
Gunter was received by CDCR on Feb. 23, 2022, from San Diego County to serve a two-year sentence for failing to register as a sex offender.
WSP incarcerated person Eugene Stroud, 44, Gunter’s cellmate, is a suspect in this case.
Stroud was received by CDCR on Feb. 8, 2022, from Yolo County to serve a 25-year, eight-month sentence for two counts of corporal injury on specific persons resulting in a traumatic condition as a second striker, and one count of making criminal threats to cause great bodily injury or death as a second striker. He also received enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury involving domestic violence, personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon, and two prior felony convictions of a serious offense.
The WSP Investigative Services Unit and the Kern County Sherriff’s Department are investigating. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.
WSP, located in Kern County, opened in 1991 and houses 3,050 incarcerated people. The primary mission of WSP is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify and evaluate people newly admitted to state prison physically and mentally, and to determine their security level, program requirements, and appropriate institutional placement. A 1000-bed medium custody facility houses general population inmates to help support and maintain the reception center. A 400-bed minimum-custody facility provides institutional maintenance and landscaping services.