The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has opened an investigation into what led up to the death of an inmate at Kern Valley State Prison. 

A CDCR release indicates that two prisoners allegedly attacked a third prisoner with an “inmate-manufactured” weapon shortly before 6:40 p.m. Saturday evening. 

The prisoner who was attacked – identified as 46-year-old Richard A. Aguirre – sustained “multiple stab wounds” and was transported to Kern Medical Center where he later succumbed to his injuries less than an hour after he was attacked. 

No other prison staff or inmates were injured, officials said. 

Aguirre was serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder and was received by the Kern Valley State Prison from Los Angeles County on April 8, 1998. 

Richard A. Aguirre
Richard A. Aguirre pictured on March 13, 2022. (Calif. Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

The two inmates who carried out the alleged attack were identified as 46-year-old Juan Camacho and 52-year-old John Martinez. 

Both men were in prison for violent crimes; Camacho is serving a 47-year sentence for attempted second-degree murder and Martinez was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder as a third striker. 

The two alleged attackers were moved to restricted housing, and movement on the yard has been limited to facilitate the investigation, the corrections department said. 

Kern Valley State Prison opened in 2005 and houses more than 2,800 minimum-, medium-, maximum- and high-security inmates.