Death row inmate who killed transient in 2004 Palm Springs attack dies of COVID-19 complications

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David Reed appears in a photo dated Nov. 16, 2018. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)
David Reed appears in a photo dated Nov. 16, 2018. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

A San Quentin State Prison death row inmate who killed a homeless man in a 2004 attack that was believed to be racially motivated died of coronavirus complications, authorities announced Wednesday.

David Reed, 60, died at a hospital on Tuesday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Officials have not confirmed the exact cause of his death.

Reed stabbed Rick Mosley near a Palm Springs restaurant in March 2004, KPCC reported.

During a taped interview, Reed, a white man, used a racial epithet in reference to the victim, who’s black, a prosecutor said, according to KPCC. The assailant also had connections with the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang as well as tattoos that said “white pride” and “Peckerwood,” a term linked to white supremacy, the official said.

Before stabbing Mosley, Reed waited two weeks outside the restaurant for a man he believed to have sexually assaulted his wife, according to the prosecutor.

In September 2011, a jury convicted Reed of first-degree murder with a special circumstance that it was a case of hate crime and recommended the death penalty, KPCC reported.

CDCR said it took custody of Reed from Riverside County the following month.

About 40% of the San Quentin prison’s inmate population have been infected with COVID-19, officials said.

Currently, there are 720 inmates on the state’s death row, according CDCR.

San Quentin, which holds California’s death row inmates, has reported six COVID-19 deaths and 1,484 confirmed cases as of Wednesday.

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