Condemned California inmate dies San Quentin State Prison

California prison inmates

An inmate who spent nearly three decades on California’s death row has died after being found in his cell, authorities said.

Jose Francisco Guerra, 61, was pronounced dead on Monday afternoon after he was found unresponsive alone in his cell at San Quentin State Prison, state prison officials said.

The cause of his death will be determined by an autopsy but there were no signs of foul play.

Guerra was sent to the nation’s largest death row in 1993 after being convicted of first-degree murder of Kathleen Powell. Powell was stabbed to death at her Los Angeles home in 1990.

Guerra, a construction worker who was working on remodeling the house next door, was convicted of first-degree murder during an attempted rape.

Guerra is the third condemned inmate in less than three weeks to die. Two others died within days of each other last month.

Royce Lyn Scott, 62, had been on death row since 1997 for the Riverside County murder and sexual assault of 78-year-old Della Morris in her home, with the special circumstances of killing her while committing burglary, rape and sodomy.

He died at an outside hospital. His cause of death hadn’t been determined but authorities said foul play wasn’t suspected.

James Odle Scott, 71, died of natural causes at an outside hospital. Odle was sentenced to death in Contra Costa County in August 1983 for the first-degree murders of Rena Aguilar and the killing of Pinole Police Officer Floyd “Bernie” Swartz during a later shootout.

The death row at San Quentin State Prison has 706 condemned inmates.

California hasn’t executed anyone since 2006. Gov. Gavin Newsom has halted executions so long as he is governor.

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