by Matt Clarke
Within eight days spanning the end of April and beginning of May 2022, four prisoners were murdered in separate incidents at three California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) prisons. At least eight prisoners are being investigated in connection with the murders, all but one of which occurred on prison recreation yards.
Alfred Valenzuela, 50, was discovered unresponsive in his cell at Kern Valley State Prison (KVSP) on April 30, 2022. Other than stating it was a homicide, CDCR officials not revealed any details about the cause of death. However, Valenzuela’s then-cellmate, Noe Herrera, 36, was moved to administrative segregation pending an investigation. Valenzuela and girlfriend Shawna Lenora Robles were convicted of the 2003 murders of an elderly Monrovia couple, Clark and Bernice Shaum.
Edgar Delgado, 39, was fatally attacked by a prisoner with a homemade weapon on a maximum-security recreation yard in the Salinas State Prison on May 4, 2022. CDCR officials have not released the suspect’s name. Delgado was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for attempted first-degree murder after shooting at two Los Angeles police officers in 2006. He had scaled a fence and escaped the prison in November 2021, but he was recaptured three days later.
The day after Delgado died, Sidney Kang, 31, was fatally attacked by two prisoners on a recreation yard at KVSP. Anthony Ramirez, 40, and Michael Caldera, 35, allegedly killed Kang using two homemade weapons that were recovered at the scene. Kang was serving a 14-year term earned with a 2014 conviction for assault.
On May 6, 2022, Camilo Banoslopez, 22, was fatally attacked by four other prisoners on a recreation yard at California State Prison. CDCR officials identified the suspects as Albert Calvillo, 30, Irvin Rodriguez, 36, Osbaldo Velasquez, 38, and Jose Avila, 39. Banoslopez was serving an eight-year sentence he received in 2015 for second-degree robbery and inflicting great bodily harm.
The suspects were serving long sentences for serious felonies, including robbery, carjacking, manslaughter and murder. With the exception of Avila, the others and Banoslopez had been convicted of violent felonies with street gang enhancements. The murders are being investigated by the CDCR’s Investigative Services Unit and local district attorneys’ offices.
Sources: KTLA, Los Angeles, Times San Diego Tribune
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