An inmate at California State Prison, Sacramento, in Folsom has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 2014 slaying of his cellmate.
A Sacramento County jury found 38-year-old Joshua James Anderson guilty of strangling Thomas Parks with a scrap of bed sheet in the locked cell they shared, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release.
District Attorney’s investigators went to the prison Feb. 8, 2014 to interview Anderson, who initially denied killing Parks, saying he had no reason to kill him because he had only three years left in his prison term. Anderson claimed that Parks committed suicide by self-inflicted ligature strangulation, the news release said.
When investigators noticed a bruise and fresh scratch on Anderson’s face, he admitted to the murder. DNA taken from Parks’ fingernail scrapings matched Anderson’s DNA, and Parks’ wounds were found to be inconsistent with suicide, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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Anderson’s criminal history includes assault with a deadly weapon, two burglary convictions and unlawful sex with a minor, the news release said. At the time Parks was killed, Anderson was serving a sentence for possession of a controlled substance and resisting a peace office.
Anderson faces a maximum sentence for 31 years to life in prison for Parks’ death, according to the District Attorney’s Office. He is to be sentenced April 21 by Sacramento Superior Court Judge Trena Burger-Plavan.