Officials at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione are investigating the death of an inmate early Tuesday as a homicide.
Inmate Joshua McCormick, 36, was found unresponsive in his cell about 6:30 a.m. Staff members initiated lifesaving measures, but McCormick was pronounced dead at 7:33 a.m., according to a state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation news release.
Prison officials have named McCormick’s cellmate, Brandon Dean, 35, as a suspect. Dean entered the state prison system in March 2001 from San Bernardino County after he was sentenced to 26 years to life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder and making terrorist threats. Dean has been placed in the prison’s Administrative Segregation Unit while McCormick’s death is investigated, officials said.
McCormick was received by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in May 2014 from Shasta County and was serving a sentence of 150 years to life with possibility of parole for three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, officials said.
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Mule Creek State Prison houses approximately 3,500 minimum-, medium- and maximum-security inmates.