Crime

Fresno murder suspect dead in jail, apparent suicide, sheriff says

Matthew Michael Gonzales
Matthew Michael Gonzales Fresno Police Department

A Fresno murder suspect was found dead in his jail cell, the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday.

He was identified as Matthew Michael Gonzales, 25.

Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Botti said Gonzales appears to have hanged himself in his cell and was discovered by correctional officers who went to check on him.

“Everything points to a suicide,” said Botti, who added that an autopsy on Gonzales was planned for later Monday.

Gonzales was awaiting trial in the fatal December shooting of Steven Banda, 25, who died of a gunshot wound. Police found Banda after he crashed a car he was driving in southeast Fresno.

Police arrested Gonzales after traveling to Norwalk in Southern California to take him into custody. At the time, police said Gonzales was a Lewis Street Bulldog gang member with an extensive criminal history.

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