NewsCovering Kern County


Officials investigating death of convicted child molester as a homicide at Kern Valley State Prison

Kern Valley State Prison (FILE)
Posted at 3:43 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-08 01:46:51-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Officials are investigating the death of a convicted child molester as a homicide at Kern Valley State Prison.

Noah Rutherford, 50, died from injuries he sustained in a Nov. 29, 2019, attack by his cellmate. He was transported to an outside hospital on that day and succumbed to his injuries on Feb. 2 at 7:10 p.m.

His cellmate at the time of the attack, Steven Law, has been identified as the suspect of the homicide. Law, 47, has been placed in segregated housing at KVSP pending an investigation into his involvement.

KVSP’s Investigative Services Unit is investigating this incident and the Office of the Inspector General was notified. Investigators from the Kern County District Attorney’s Office are assisting in the investigation.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation press release records, this is the third inmate homicide at KVSP in the last 12 months.

Rutherford was admitted from Los Angeles County on Jan. 4, 2018, to serve a 30-year sentence for 18 counts of lewd or lascivious acts with a minor under 14 with force/violence/fear.

Law, 47, was received on March 20, 2018, from Tulare County to serve a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole for second-degree robbery, a second-strike offense, with personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon. He received an additional six-year sentence, to be served consecutive to his initial sentence, for another count of second-degree robbery by a second striker.