REPRESA (CBS13) — A notorious inmate was stabbed to death during a prison right involving as many as 70 prisoners at New Folsom Prison on Wednesday.
Hugo Pinell, 71, was attacked first by a fellow inmate. That fight escalated into a riot involving dozens of inmates at the maximum-security prison, sending 11 of them to the hospital. Pinell died from his stab wounds.
Pinell had a long and violent criminal history that kept him behind bars for half a century, starting with a violent rape conviction in the 1960s. He gained infamy as a member of the San Quentin 6, a radical civil rights group that attempted to escape from that prison in 1971. Reports from the incident say Pinell lured a guard to his death, saying he needed to mail a letter. Another prison officer and four others would die during the failed escape.
In recent years, Pinnell developed a loyal following of political supporters.
"Many of the actions attributed to him, he's not directly responsible for," said his attorney Keith Wattley. "There is clear, undeniable failure to protect him because there have been threats against him. Mostly because of his reputation."
A prison spokesperson says investigators are reviewing prison video leading up to the riot to see if the attack was planned. Investigators have collected a number of homemade weapons used In the riot.
"The exact makeup of the weapons are under investigation and are being processed for evidence and they were mostly manufactured stabbing weapons," said Lt. Aaron Konrad.
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