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$525,000 Paid in California Prisoner Beating Death

In early October, 2001, the State of California agreed to pay $525,000 to the parents of a Corcoran State Prison prisoner who was killed by another prisoner in the exercise yard.

James Kevin Mahoney, Jr., who was serving a life term without parole for murder, was beaten and strangled to death by prisoner Anthony Gilbert Delgado when the two were put together in an exercise yard at Corcoran's Security Housing Unit (SHU) on July 2, 1999.

Delgado, who had killed his cellmate Frank Mendoza eight months earlier, had been in isolation and on "walk-alone" status. When prison officials inexplicably changed his status and put the two together, Delgado hit Mahoney causing him to slump to the ground. When tower guards did nothing for ten minutes, Delgado went back and beat Mahoney with his rubber sandal. After several more minutes of guard inaction, Delgado shredded his T-shirt, fashioned a rope, and beat and strangled Mahoney with it. Following this fifteen-minute struggle, Mahoney was dead, according to an analysis of the exercise yard's taped video monitor.

After yet another twenty minutes, the first guards arrived on the yard. They took Mahoney to the hospital in the back of a pick-up truck because the prison's ambulance was inoperable.

Delgado was tried and sentenced to death for Mendoza's and Mahoney's murders.

Enrique Mexicano, the tower guard/gunner assigned to watch Mahoney and Delgado, was later fired. State prosecutors recommended him and other Corcoran staff members for prosecution. However, the King's County District Attorney's office decided against filing charges the same decision they made in 1994 when eight other Corcoran officials were implicated in the guard shooting death of prisoner Preston Tate (where the state settled for $825,000).

Source: The Fresno Bee

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