California gang member dies while awaiting execution
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Officials say one of three men sentenced to death for slayings during the Nuestra Familia gang’s alleged efforts to take over the drug trade in San Jose has died while awaiting execution.
California corrections spokeswoman Terry Thornton said Tuesday that 53-year-old Herminio Serna died late Monday at San Quentin State Prison.
He was found unresponsive in his single cell. Thornton says the death is not being investigated as a homicide or suicide but that it will take an autopsy to determine how he died.
Serna, nicknamed “Spankio,” was sentenced to death by a Santa Clara County jury in 1997 for the murders of Esteban Guzman, Marcos Baca and Sheila Apodaca.
Two other gang members — 66-year-old James “Hueveo” Trujeque and 53-year-old Bobby “Silent” Lopez Jr. — remain on death row.