Death of Inmate in Lancaster Prison Investigated as Homicide

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California State Prison-Los Angeles County in Lancaster is pictured. (Credit: Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

The death of a 39-year-old inmate at a Lancaster prison is being investigated as a homicide, state officials said Monday.

Rashell Clarke was found unresponsive Saturday in his cell in State Prison-Los Angeles County, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Staff called for an ambulance and tried to resuscitate Clarke, but he was pronounced dead about 11:30 a.m., less than an hour after he was found.

Clarke had arrived at the prison in early 2010 for a nearly 23-year sentence stemming from a child abuse and endangerment case in Shasta County, correctional officials said in the statement.

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