DELANO, Calif. — Authorities are investigating the death of an inmate at North Kern Start Prison as a homicide, according to the Kern County Sheriff's Office.
Lawrence Tate, 63, was found unresponsive on Jan. 1 inside his cell at NKSP, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said in a statement.
He was taken to a hospital where he died early the next day.
Investigators have identified Tate's cellmate, Willie Clay, as a suspect, the statement said.
Prison officials and KCSO are investigating.
Tate was serving life with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder.
Clay, 30, entered the facility on December 6, 2019 to serve a 14-year sentence for attempted murder.
North Kern State Prison houses more than 4,100 inmates.