RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan transferred to San Diego County

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The man who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy was transferred to Donovan State Prison in Otay Mesa from a Kings County penitentiary today — on the 50th anniversary of the murder of the Democratic senator's older brother, President John F. Kennedy.

Sirhan Sirhan, 69, arrived at the southern San Diego County prison this afternoon, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, which stated that the relocation occurred as “a routine matter of housing allotments.”

“The date of the move is simply an unfortunate coincidence,” CDCR spokesman Luis Patino said. “Any number of inmates are moved from institution to institution on any given day as necessary.”

Sirhan previously was housed at Corcoran State Prison in Central California.

Corrections officials “don't comment on the reasons” for inmate transfers, in part because they involve security concerns, said Jeffrey Callison, press secretary for the state prison system.

Sirhan was convicted in April 1969 of first-degree murder and assault in connection with the June 5, 1968, assassination of Robert Kennedy, 42, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Five other people also were shot during the attack but survived.

The death sentence the Palestine native initially received in the case was commuted to life in prison after the state Supreme Court declared capital punishment unconstitutional in 1972.

In subsequent years Sirhan claimed amnesia brought on by excess consumption of alcohol and denied committing the killing, despite having admitted to the crime in open court during his trial.

In March 2011, he was denied parole for a 13th time.

John F. Kennedy was gunned down on Nov. 22, 1963, as he rode in a convertible limousine in Dallas alongside first lady Jacqueline Kennedy. His accused killer, one-time Marine and self-described Marxist Lee Harvey Oswald, was in turn shot to death two days later by local nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

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