Two inmates on death row were found dead in San Quentin State Prison in apparent suicides over the weekend, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news release Monday.
Prison staff found Andrew Urdiales, 54, unresponsive during a security check around 11:15 p.m. Friday, and was pronounced dead about forty-five minutes later.
Urdiales was sentenced to death on Oct. 5 in Orange County for the first-degree murders of five women between 1988 and 1995, when Urdiales was stationed at various U.S. Marine Corps facilities in Southern California.
Urdiales was previously convicted of killing three other women in Illinois in the mid-90s and was sentenced to death there in 2004. That sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2011 after Illinois outlawed capital punishment.
Urdiales's cause of death has not been released, but officials are investigating his death as a suicide.
“Urdiales was a monster who did not deserve to breathe the same air we all enjoy. He remained a callous coward until the end as he robbed the victims’ families of the right to be present when the State put him to death," Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said in a statement.
Two days later, another death row inmate was found unresponsive in his cell.
Staff found Virendra Govin, 51, unresponsive in his cell at 10:15 p.m. Sunday, and was pronounced dead a short time later.
Govin was sentenced to death by a Los Angeles County jury on Dec. 21, 2004 for the first-degree murders of four people.
Govin's cause of death has not been released, but is being investigated as a suicide.
Authorities said there is no indication that the two deaths are related. Both were kept in single cells, and were discovered in different sections of the correctional facility.