California

Pelican Bay inmate dies after being attacked by two others, prison officials say

Two inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison killed a third during an attack on Thursday night, officials said.
Two inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison killed a third during an attack on Thursday night, officials said. AP

A Pelican Bay State Prison inmate was killed by two other inmates Thursday night and authorities are investigating the deadly attack, state corrections officials said Friday.

Killed was 35-year-old Fabian Rodriguez. Prison officials say his assailants are both serving life terms at the lockup on California’s north coast.

Fernando Hernandez, 31, was sent to Pelican Bay from Los Angeles County in April 2008 for first-degree attempted murder; Juan Ayabar, 33, at Pelican Bay since May 2008, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

Rodriguez was nearing the end of a 12-year sentence for second-degree robbery with a firearm and gang enhancements, said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials.

A prison staffer saw two inmates attack Rodriguez about 6:50 p.m. Thursday in the prison’s Facility A, said officials in the Friday statement.

Corrections officers ordered the pair to stop the attack but the assault continued. Officers again ordered the attackers to stop. The two did without incident, corrections officials said.

Rodriguez was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

An improvised weapon was found at the scene, officials said. No Pelican Bay staff were hurt.

Hernandez and Ayabar were placed in segregated housing, and inmates’ activities were limited as prison staff investigate the fatal attack.

Darrell Smith covers courts and California news for The Sacramento Bee. He joined The Bee in 2006 and previously worked at newspapers in Palm Springs, Colorado Springs, Colo., and Marysville. A Sacramento Valley native, Smith was born and raised at Beale Air Force Base, near Marysville.
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