Prison officials investigate homicide in Fresno County. Victim’s cellmate named the suspect

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Prison officials are investigating a homicide in a state prison located in Fresno County.

Friday morning around 9:30 a.m. at Pleasant Valley State Prison, inmate Jesus Castaneda, 38, declined to go to the recreation yard, a department of corrections and rehabilitation says.

When the officer approached his cell, he says Castaneda’s cellmate was laying unresponsive on the floor.

The alarm was activated and medical personnel arrived attempting to resuscitate Joseph Saucedo, 60.

“He was then transported to the prison’s correctional treatment center where he was pronounced deceased at 10: 07 a.m.,” according to the news release.

Saucedo was received from San Joaquin County on Dec.15, 1997, to serve a 40-years-to-life sentence for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14, kidnapping, sodomy and aggravated assault of a child less than 14 years old, oral copulation of a child with force, and dissuading a victim or witness. 

Castaneda, 38, has been placed in an isolated cell while the incident is investigated.

He was received into prison custody from Los Angeles County on Oct. 11, 2017, to serve a life-with-parole sentence for first-degree murder with a firearm and vehicle theft with a firearm. While in prison he received additional sentences for manufacturing a weapon and assault with a deadly weapon.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office is assisting in the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General was notified.

The prison houses more than 3,200 inmates, minimum to maximum-security.

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