SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) -- Another death row inmate at San Quentin State Prison, child rapist and murderer Troy Ashmus, has died of apparent complications related to COVID-19.
Ashmus, 58, was pronounced dead Monday at an outside hospital from what appear to be coronavirus complications, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The exact cause of death will be determined by the coroner. He is the 12th San Quentin inmate to die since the start of the pandemic.
In 1984, Ashmus was a 22-year-old carnival worker when he raped and suffocated 7-year-old Marcella Davis in Sacramento County. He was sentenced to death in 1986.
Seven other condemned San Quentin inmates have died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, as have four other inmates from the general population. The 12 deaths are the second-most COVID-related deaths in the state prison system as of Monday afternoon. Nineteen inmates have died at the California Institution for Men in Chino.
According to the CDCR's coronavirus tracker, there are 925 inmates at San Quentin with active infections, with 402 new infections within the last two weeks. Another 36 infected inmates have been released and 1,112 inmates have recovered from being infected with the virus.
On July 10, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that some 8,000 prisoners would be released to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at state prisons. The governor's plan applies to low-level offenders with 180 days or less remaining in their sentences and those who are at risk of COVID-19-related complications.
In March of 2019, Newsom signed an executive order placing a moratorium on executions in California, and ordered the closure of the execution chamber as San Quentin.
There are currently 718 people on California's death row, the CDCR said.
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