Investigation in Fresno jail inmate's death

FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno County Sheriff's homicide detectives are investigating the alleged murder of a jail inmate.


The inmate, 20-year-old Joe Anthony Rodriguez, was discovered in his sixth floor cell at around 10 p.m., during a routine count. 

Rodriguez was found unconscious, and had severe trauma to his head and body. 

He was taken to Community Regional Medical Center where he later died as a result of his injuries.

47 other inmates are housed in the same pod as Rodriguez, two of which are in the same cell.  Detectives have determined the murder occurred around the time when all of the cells doors were open to the community area of the pod. 

Detectives have no motive at this time but the murder appears to be gang related.

Rodriguez was in custody for the Dec. 1, 2011, murder of a 16-year-old Jose Luis Calderon near the intersection of Church & Martin Luther King. 

He was arrested in early March of last year and has been in custody since. 

A second suspect in that murder, 18-year-old Abel Perez, has not been arrested and is still being sought.

An autopsy is scheduled for today.

This is the county’s 3rd homicide of 2013.

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