Cellmate suspected in death of inmate in California prison

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (BCN) – A 29-year-old man died at High Desert State Prison early Monday morning after being sentenced to state prison following an assault with a firearm conviction in San Francisco, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.

The name of the man hasn’t been released, and his cellmate, Erik Montes, is considered a suspect in the death, according to the CDCR.

Montes alerted staff around 11:30 p.m. Sunday that his cellmate was unresponsive. The man was taken to the prison’s treatment and triage area and staff pronounced him dead at 12:07 a.m.

The inmate who died was serving a seven-year sentence and came into the state prison system in March 2018.

Montes was serving a 28-year sentence for second-degree attempted murder and other charges related to the stabbing of a 17-year-old boy outside of Daly City’s Thornton High School in 2013. He also was sentenced to an additional year for an in-prison offense of possessing or manufacturing a deadly weapon, CDCR officials said.

High Desert State Prison is located in Lassen County, and the county Sheriff’s Office is investigating the inmate death along with the CDCR.

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