3 inmates die in 11 days at 3 California prisons, officials say

SUSANVILLE, California– Two inmates killed a third inmate at a Northern California jail on Friday, authorities said, the third such killing in two weeks at three different jails.

Inmates William Lutts, 39, and Timothy Smith, 40, assaulted fellow inmate Terence Coleman, 51, at High Desert State Prison, officials said. He died and officials are investigating the death as manslaughter.

Lutts was also seriously injured and taken to an outside hospital, while Smith was transferred to an isolation ward while the case was investigated.

prisoner killed

prisoner killed

This September 25, 2020 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows inmate Terence Coleman.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP

Coleman was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for assault and robbery in Yolo County after two previous convictions for burglary. In prison, he was sentenced to an additional 12 years for involuntary manslaughter.

prisoner killed

prisoner killed

This September 25, 2020 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows inmate Timothy Smith.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP

Lutts was serving an 18-year sentence from Tuolumne County for assaulting a peace officer or firefighter with a firearm. In prison, as the second striker, he was sentenced to an additional nine years for assault with a deadly weapon. That year he was found guilty of manufacturing or possessing a deadly weapon and sentenced to two more years.

Smith also has a long criminal record. He is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for murder and attempted murder in San Joaquin County. He had previously been sentenced to four years in prison for evading a police officer, causing death or serious injury, vehicle theft and failing to appear in court. He was subsequently sentenced to four more years in prison for burglary and vehicle theft.

Last week, two inmates serving life sentences died after being assaulted in California prisons, officials said at the time, one at Salinas Valley State Penitentiary and the other at California State Penitentiary in Sacramento, commonly known as New Folsom.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc7.com/california-prison-inmates-killed/12332444/ 3 inmates die in 11 days at 3 California prisons, officials say

Laura Coffey

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