Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Wasco State Prison Investigating Inmate Death as a Homicide

WASCO – Wasco State Prison (WSP) officials are investigating the death of an inmate as a possible homicide.

Around 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, inmate Jason Morris, 43, was found unresponsive in his cell. Responding staff immediately initiated lifesaving measures. An ambulance was summoned; however, Morris was pronounced dead at 3:25 p.m.

Morris was received into the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation from Fresno County on Nov. 8, 2016. He was serving two concurrent three-year sentences for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 years old.

Morris’ cellmate, age 36, has been identified as the suspect. He was received into CDCR custody from Orange County on Feb. 1, 2017, with a sentence of 14 years for assault with a deadly weapon. His name is being withheld pending investigation.

Investigators from the Kern County District Attorney’s Office are assisting in the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General has been notified.

The primary mission of Wasco State Prison is to provide short-term housing necessary to process, classify and evaluate new inmates physically and mentally, to determine their security level, program requirements, and appropriate institutional placement. A 400-bed medium-custody facility houses general population inmates to help support and maintain the reception center. A minimum-custody facility provides institutional maintenance and landscaping services. The prison was activated in 1991 and houses approximately 5,000 inmates and employs 1,500 people.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 8, 2017

CONTACT: Lt. Martin Herrera
  (661) 758-8400 ext. 5016
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