San Quentin inmate dies of unknown causes on death row

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SAN QUENTIN (KRON) — A San Quentin State Prison inmate on death row died Thursday morning of unknown causes, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Condemned inmate, 69-year-old James David Majors of Sacramento County, was pronounced dead around 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning at a nearby hospital, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said.

The cause of death is unknown pending autopsy results.

Majors was on death row at San Quentin State Prison since February 1991.

He was sentenced to death by a Sacramento County jury for the Jan. 25, 1989 robbery and first-degree murders of Thomas Probst, Jeanine Copeland and Patrick Mungavin at a home in Fair Oaks, according to officials.

Majors and his accomplice, Robert Reese, came to Sacramento from Arizona with the intention of buying a pound of methamphetamine.

He and Reese shot and killed the three victims and stole methamphetamine, money, and jewelry from a safe in the home.

The victims were discovered by Copeland’s 8-year-old son.

Reese was found shot to death in Arizona a month after the murders, officials said.

California reinstated capital punishment in 1978.

Since then, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says, “71 condemned inmates have died from natural causes, 25 have committed suicide, 13 have been executed in California, one was executed in Missouri, one was executed in Virginia, eight have died from other causes, and two (including Majors) have their cause of death pending. There are currently 749 offenders on California’s death row.”

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