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Inmate charged with killing cellmate at Kern Valley State Prison pleads not guilty

Kern Valley State Prison (FILE)
Posted at 3:27 PM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 18:27:22-05

BAKERSFIELD CALIF. — Kern Valley State Prison inmate Erik Morales, 40, pleaded not guilty Thursday to the killing of his cellmate, 40-year-old Ryan Galindo.

According to documents filed with the Kern County Superior Court, on March 18, 2019 a correctional officer at KVSP witnessed Morales "repeatedly kicking Galindo in the head and face, rendering Galindo unconscious," around 8:40 p.m.

After the alleged attack, Galindo was taken to Kern Medical where it was determined Galindo was suffering from a brain bleed, a fracture to his right eye bone, and a small puncture to his left lung causing a bleed. Galindo was taken to a Select Specialty Hospital in Tri City where he died from his injuries three months later.

Morlales is due in court in Delano on Feb. 4 for a preliminary hearing.

According to the CDCR, Galindo was received from Fresno County on May 14, 2015, to serve a six-year sentence for being an ex-felon in possession of a firearm.

Morales was received from Los Angeles County on June 9, 2005, to serve a life sentence without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

He currently also faces charges of two felony counts of assault by a life prisoner and attempted murder.