Condemned San Quentin death row inmate dies


SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A California death row inmate had died after he was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison Monday.

Condemned inmate Richard Allen Benson, 74,  was found unresponsive in his cell around 5:30 a.m. 

California Department of Corrections officials say correctional officers entered Benson’s cell, performed CPR, and summoned an ambulance. Benson was pronounced dead at 6:03 a.m. by a paramedic.

Benson had been sentenced to death in Santa Barbara County after a change of venue from San Luis Obispo County on April 30, 1987, for four counts of first-degree murder for the 1986 deaths of Laura Camargo and her three children. 

His two sentences for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 years of age and of arson of an inhabited structure were stayed pending the carrying out of the death sentence. 

The Marin County Sheriff’s Office Coroner Division will determine his cause of death, however, foul play is not suspected.

Benson was admitted onto California’s death row on May 1, 1987. There are currently 703 people on California’s death row

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