News Releases

SVSP Investigating Death of Incarcerated Person as Homicide

SOLEDAD–California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials are investigating the August 3 death of an incarcerated person at Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) as a homicide.

On Wednesday Aug. 3, at approximately 8:04 a.m., officers responded when incarcerated person Angel Montes allegedly attacked incarcerated person Peter Hernandez in a housing unit dayroom with a weapon. Responding staff used chemical agents to stop the attack. An ambulance was summoned while staff performed life-saving measures on Hernandez. However, Hernandez was pronounced dead at 8:22 a.m.

Officials have limited population movement on the yard to facilitate the investigation is being conducted by SVSP’s Investigative Services Unit, the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office and the Monterey County Coroner. Montes has been placed in segregated housing pending the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General was notified and the Monterey County Coroner will determine Hernandez’s official cause of death.

No staff members or additional incarcerated people were injured as a result of this incident.

Hernandez, 59, was sentenced to CDCR on May 12, 1997 from Santa Clara County to serve a life with parole sentence for second-degree robbery as a third-striker and petty theft with a prior as a third-striker. While incarcerated, Hernandez was sentenced in Kings County on Nov. 1, 2021 to serve a two-year sentence for possession/manufacture of a deadly weapon by a prisoner.

Montes, 30, was sentenced to CDCR on Sept. 29, 2017 from Kings County to serve a life with parole sentence for attempted murder of a government official with use of a firearm, attempted first-degree murder with use of a firearm, resisting/deterring officer with threat/violence with use of a firearm, resisting/deterring officer with threat/violence, carjacking with use of a firearm, vehicle theft, attempted vehicle theft, and vandalism.

SVSP opened in May 1996 in Monterey County. The institution provides long-term housing for 2,892 minimum- and maximum-custody male inmates and employs approximately 1,600 people.

Hernandez, Peter C67504
Hernandez, Peter C67504
Montes, Angel BE4118
Montes, Angel BE4118


Contact: OPEC Press Office