Four inmates held in suspicious Valley State Prison death

Officials at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla are investigating the death of a 44-year-old inmate as a possible murder.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said the man, whose name is being withheld pending family notification, was found unresponsive in a dormitory Thursday at 9:10 a.m. Responders initiated life-saving measures and called an ambulance, but he was pronounced dead at 9:45 a.m.

The inmate was transferred from Los Angeles County in June 2015 and was serving a two-year, eight-month sentence for second-degree burglary and possession of a controlled substance.

Following the man’s death, four fellow inmates were detained by prison staff. The eight-man dormitory has been sealed as a crime scene. The inmates housed there were transferred to the segregation unit amid the investigation.

The Office of the Inspector General was notified of the death.

Andrea Castillo: 559-441-6279, @andreamcastillo