NewsCovering Kern County


Two inmates stabbed to death at KVSP in less than 24 hours

Kern Valley State Prison (FILE)
Posted at 6:03 PM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 01:52:19-04

DELANO, Calif. — Two inmates were stabbed to death at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano in separate incidents less than 24 hours apart, according to officials.

On April 30, around 1:30 p.m. correctional officers responded to an inmate attack, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The CDCR said inmate Robert Hargrave was being stabbed by two other inmates with an inmate-manufactured weapon.

Hargrave, 48, suffered multiple stab wounds to his back, chest and abdomen. He was taken to the institution’s Triage and Treatment Area and was later taken to an outside hospital for treatment. He was pronounced deceased at 2:40 p.m. at the hospital by the on-duty physician.

The CDCR is investigating inmates Matthew Thornton and Michael Arzaga in relation to the attack.

On May 1, around 7:58 a.m., another KVSP inmate was attacked and stabbed to death, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

KCSO said inmate Robert Beltran was found in his cell unresponsive. He was airlifted to Kern Medical, where he was pronounced dead. A postmortem examination was conducted and the cause of death is multiple stab wounds.

According to the CDCR, Beltran, 50, was also attacked by inmates using an inmate-manufactured weapon. He suffered multiple stab wounds to his head, back, chest and abdomen, the CDCR reported.

The CDCR is investigating inmates Charles Garibay, Rafael Navarro and Guillermo Navarro in relation to the attack.

KVSP investigators recovered four inmate-manufactured weapons at the crime scene. KVSP officials placed the institution on a 24-hour threat assessment and limited inmate movement in order to thoroughly investigate this and prior serious incidents.

KVSP’s Investigative Services Unit and the Kern County Sheriff’s Office are investigating both incidents. The Office of the Inspector General was also notified.