LOS ANGELES (CNS) – An inmate, who’s been on death row at San Quentin State Prison since being convicted of three Los Angeles County murders, slashed a correctional officer while being secured in a shower stall, prison officials reported.
The attack occurred just after 3 p.m. on Oct. 3 as the officer was removing handcuffs from Richard Penunuri at the prison’s East Block Housing Unit, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
“Penunuri quickly grabbed the officer’s right arm and used an inmate manufactured slashing weapon to cut the officer’s right forearm,” according to a CDCR statement.
The officer, whose name was withheld, was taken to an outside hospital for treatment of “a significant injury to his forearm,” but is expected to make a full recovery, corrections officials said.
The East Block Housing Unit is one of five units in the prison where male inmates on California’s death row are housed.
Penunuri, a 38-year-old gang member, was sentenced to death in Los Angeles County on Feb. 1, 2001. He was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the 1997 gang-related killings of Bryan Molina, 17, and Michael Murillo, 18, who were not gang members and were unintended targets.
While jailed for those killings in Los Angeles County, Penunuri ordered the murder of Jamie Castillo to prevent the man from testifying in his pending double-murder trial.
Penunuri is one of 749 inmates on death row in California.