Another California death row inmate dies; virus suspected
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Another California death row inmate has died from what appears to be complications of the coronavirus amid an outbreak sweeping through San Quentin State Prison, authorities said Monday.
Troy A. Ashmus, 58, died Monday outside of the prison near San Francisco, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The exact cause of his death was under investigation but appeared to be COVID-19-related, prison officials said.
Ashmus was the seventh death row prisoner and the 12th overall at San Quentin to die from confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections.
Ashmus was sent to death row in 1986. convicted of raping 7-year-old Marcella Davis, who had biked to a Sacramento park in May 1984. Plastic bags, cellophane and the girl’s own shorts were shoved down her throat, prosecutors said.
There have been nearly 7,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases among inmates in the state prison system, including more than 2,000 active cases and 39 confirmed deaths, according to state figures.
Dozens of inmates are hospitalized, some of them in intensive care.
More than 800 employees also have active cases of COVID-19, according to corrections officials.