Sex offender found dead in suspected homicide at San Quentin State Prison

California
John Sullivan is seen in this Oct. 8, 2019, photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
John Sullivan is seen in this Oct. 8, 2019, photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

A 66-year-old inmate was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison early Wednesday, and state corrections officials said they are treating his death as a homicide.

John Sullivan had served half of his 10-year sentence from Placer County for failing to register as a sex offender, a second-strike.

He was found during a head count shortly after midnight and pronounced dead less than 40 minutes later.

Officials said they suspect his 28-year-old cellmate in the death. He has not been charged, but was serving a seven-year sentence from Los Angeles County for first-degree burglary and injury to a dependent adult causing death or great bodily injury.

The Marin County coroner did not immediately provide a cause of death, and corrections officials wouldn’t give more details, citing the investigation.

The Associated Press found in a 2015 analysis that male sex offenders were being killed at a rate double their percentage in the prison population.

San Quentin, north of San Fransico, is California’s oldest prison. It houses the state’s death row, but also general population inmates.

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