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 discovered an inmate, whose name is being withheld pending next-of-kin notification, unresponsive in his cell at 9:30 a.m., on Thursday, May 16. He was pronounced dead at 10:20 a.m. The cell and all its contents have been secured and processed as a crime scene.
The dead inmate’s cellmate, Dennis John Bratton, has been identified as the suspect in the case. Bratton, 43, is serving a life sentence from San Diego County for attempted murder, multiple counts of assault with deadly weapons and firearms, and an in prison assault with a deadly weapon. He was received by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on November 13, 1997, and has been housed at KVSP since May 23, 2012.