Authorities at the state prison in Lancaster announced Monday they are investigating the death of an inmate as a suspected homicide and are questioning his cellmate.
Rashell Clarke, 39, was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday. Staff immediately began live-saving measures, but he was declared dead at 11:26 a.m., said Lt. Duane Bennett of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Clarke had been housed at the California State Prison-Los Angeles County since Jan. 12, 2010. He had been serving a nearly 23-year sentence in a Shasta County case in which he was convicted of abusing and endangering the health of a child, according to Bennett.
Clarke’s cellmate, 33-year-old Leron Morris, has been in prison since Sept. 13, 2005, serving a life term without the possibility of parole for a first-degree murder conviction in Contra Costa County, Bennett said.
The Lancaster prison, which opened in 1993, provides long-term housing for about 3,500 minimum-, medium- and maximum-security male inmates.
— Wire reports