NewsCovering California


Cellmate a suspect in death of inmate at North Kern Start Prison

Posted at 5:58 PM, Jan 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-14 18:32:50-05

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.