LANCASTER – A 48-year-old inmate was found dead at the California State Prison in Lancaster last week, and a 36-year-old inmate serving time for rape has been named as the suspected killer, authorities said.
Inmate Victor Earl Jones was found unresponsive in a housing unit dayroom floor on Friday, May 31, and he was pronounced dead at about 5:14 p.m., according to a press report by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).
Prison officials initially believed that Jones died of natural causes, but a subsequent investigation indicated that Jones was the victim of a battery, the press report states.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives on Friday responded to the prison, at 44750 60th Street West in Lancaster, to investigate the circumstances surrounding Jones’ death, sheriff’s officials said.
Prison officials have now named inmate Andre Rutledge as a suspect in the case. Rutledge, 36, was received from Alameda County for rape, with an estimated parole release date of September 2020.
Rutledge has been placed in the Administrative Segregation Unit at the institution, pending completion of the investigation, according to the CDCR press report.
Jones was received by CDCR on February 28, 1997, from Riverside County. He was serving 30 years to life for first-degree robbery.