DELANO, Calif. -
Kern Valley State Prison investigators are working with the Kern County Coroner and District Attorney’s Office to investigate the death of an inmate, which has been classified as a homicide.
Prison staff said they found an inmate, whose name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification, unresponsive in his cell shortly before 8:00 p.m., on Thursday, March 21. He was declared dead at 8:44 p.m.
The cell and all its contents have been secured and processed as a crime scene.
The deceased inmate’s cellmate, Scott A. Mendez, has been identified as the suspect in the case. Mendez, 41, is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole from Fresno County for first-degree murder. He was received by CDCR on November 24, 1993, and has been housed at KVSP since September 2, 2010.