News Releases

Salinas Valley State Prison Investigates Death of Incarcerated Person as a Homicide

SOLEDAD— Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) officials are investigating the death of an incarcerated person as a homicide.

On Saturday, Dec. 24, at 2:49 p.m., staff quickly responded when they discovered an incarcerated person, Ross Nusser, unresponsive in his cell after allegedly being attacked by his cellmate. Lifesaving measures were immediately initiated and EMTs arrived to provide additional assistance. He was transported to an outside hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 7:56 p.m. Dec. 24.

Officers immediately moved Nusser’s cellmate, Benjamin Ramage, to segregated housing as the investigation continues. Officials have limited population movement on the yard to facilitate the investigation and notified the Office of the Inspector General.

Nusser, 45, was admitted from Riverside County on Oct. 5, 2010, to serve life with the possibility of parole for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Ramage, 42, was admitted from Kings County on Nov. 20, 2015, to serve a four- year sentence for possession of ammunition by a prohibited person. He received an additional six-year sentence in 2017 for an in-prison offense of battery on a non-prisoner, and an additional four-year sentence in 2019 for assault by a prisoner with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury.

SVSP opened in May 1996 in Monterey County. The institution provides long-term housing for 2,984 minimum- and maximum-custody incarcerated people and employs approximately 1,600 people.

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Contact: CDCR Press Office, opec@cdcr.ca.gov.