Man charged in murder of cellmate in Santa Rosa prison

According to the article, officers found the victim lying unresponsive on the floor of his prison cell with injuries to his face, head, and arms.  His hands had been tied behind his back with torn strips of bed sheets and his feet had been similarly bound.  He had a ligature made of bed sheets tied around his neck and his pants and underwear had been pulled down around his knees.  Staff say that the murder “likely happened very quickly” because officers are supposed to walk by to check the cell every thirty minutes.

I suppose I would have to test this theory, but the level of work involved with binding the victim’s arms, legs, and then presumably sexually assaulting him seems like it would have taken more than thirty minutes.  Furthermore, if an inmate wanted to kill his cellie and knew that an officer would be making regular, staggered rounds, it is far more likely that he would not bother with the ligatures but would instead just beat him.  I do not want to make accusations and hopefully there is videotape on the unit to confirm, but to me this sounds like officers were not making their rounds, the inmates knew that they were not making their rounds, and because of that, the offender in this case took his time.  I hope that the prosecutor investigates this and does not sweep it under the rug as “just another prison murder.”

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