Deaths of 2 California prisoners under investigation


CHINO, Calif. (AP) — The deaths of two men days apart at a California prison is under investigation by the San Bernardino County coroner’s office, authorities said.

Rodney Hawkins, 32, died June 10 and Richard Holesapple, 30, died June 12 at the California Institution for Men in Chino, east of Los Angeles.

Both were found “unresponsive” in their cells and prounounced dead at hospitals, said Dana Simas, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Neither prisoner had a cellmate.

There was no immediate word on the cause of their deaths but medical examiners were awaiting results of toxicology tests, which may determine whether drugs were involved, the Orange County Register reported.

Hawkins had been in prison since February 2020, serving a four-year sentence after being convicted of causing corporal injury in San Diego County.

Holesapple, who went to prison in October 2019, was convicted in Placer County and was serving a 10-year term for crimes inlcuding burglary and grand theft of a firearm.

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