Paige St. John // Slain inmate Hugo Pinell was a target of prison gangs, his lawyer says

[Aug 13, 2015] Slain inmate Hugo Pinell was a target of prison gangs, his lawyer says – California corrections officials said two inmates at the maximum-security prison outside Sacramento where Pinell was housed are suspected of stabbing to death the 71-year-old inmate. That in turn triggered a riot on the prison yard, involving some 70 inmates and lasting approximately 20 minutes, said department spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

A total of 29 inmates were injured, 11 taken to the hospital for treatment, and five admitted for care. One of those, a 29-year-old prisoner, remained in critical condition Thursday with severe head injuries and multiple stab wounds.

Thornton said that while the riot remains under investigation, she could not comment on Wattley’s allegations that prison officials knew Pinell was in danger, and that he had asked several months ago that Pinell be protected.

“The safety and security of all inmates is of utmost importance to CDCR,” she said.

Transcripts from a May 2014 parole board hearing contain references to threats against Pinell.

“There are multiple instances that show he’s been actually the victim of assaults by whites, by members of the [Black Guerrilla Family],” Wattley told the board, according to the transcript.

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