Condemned California inmate dies of apparent natural causes

CORCORAN, Calif. (AP) — A 69-year-old California inmate has died of apparent natural causes while awaiting execution.

Corrections officials said Monday that Ronald Bell died Friday at a state prison in Corcoran.

California’s death row is at San Quentin State Prison, but the Corcoran prison has a unit that provides long-term medical care.

Corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton says an autopsy will determine his cause of death, but that it appears to be of natural causes.

He was sentenced to death in Contra Costa County in 1979 for the first-degree murder of Raymond Murphy during a jewelry store robbery in Richmond.

California has not executed anyone since 2006.

Seventy-nine condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978. There are 737 offenders on California’s death row.

Categories: California News