Fellow Inmate Suspected of Killing 55-Year-Old Serving Life Term at Lancaster State Prison

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

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

The death of a 55-year-old inmate at the state prison in Lancaster this week is being investigated as a homicide, officials said Friday.

Prison staff noticed Timothy Johnson applying pressure to his bleeding neck around 9:45 a.m. Tuesday and he was taken to an outside hospital for treatment of a puncture wound, the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a news release.

Hospital staff pronounced Johnson dead at 2:45 p.m.

Johnson was serving a life term with the possibility of parole for first- and second-degree burglary, a second-strike offense, out of San Bernardino County. He entered the state prison system in September 2010.

Investigators believe the inmate who killed him was 44-year-old Noel Mayorga, convicted in a deadly 2013 DUI crash in Riverside County.

The Menifee collision left two women dead and four others injured, including a 5-year-old boy, the Press-Enterprise reported.

Officials say Mayorga was sentenced in November 2015 to 32 years and eight months for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, a second-strike offense, and DUI resulting in death.

He has been placed in segregated housing while Johnson’s death is investigated.

The male-only Los Angeles County state prison houses 3,200 inmates.

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