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Puttin in Work at Chino

Post  Ty on Fri Mar 21, 2008 7:37 am

Inmate found dead at CIM last week identified as Chino man

By Rod Leveque, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/20/2008 04:34:13 PM PDT

CHINO - An inmate found dead inside a cell at the California Institution for Men state prison last week has been identified as 37-year-old Vernon Lewis Howard of Chino.
Prison officials said today they are still investigating Howard's death as a possible homicide, although both prison and coroner's officials would not say exactly how he died.

"I don't know if they have determined that at this point," CIM spokesman T.J. Padilla said.

Howard was found unresponsive March 14 inside his two-man cell. A spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in Sacramento has said it appeared he had been assaulted by his cellmate of three hours.

Howard was serving time at the prison for a parole violation. His 22-year-old cellmate, Lance Barrett, was in prison for a carjacking.

Both men were in the Administrative Segregation Unit, a section of the prison that houses inmates who have broken prison rules.

Howard had been placed in the unit after he was caught with a cell phone. Barrett, meanwhile, had assaulted a staff member, a prison spokesman said.

Barrett was convicted carjacking as a juvenile in San Diego County. He began serving his sentence at the Heman G. Stark Youth Correctional Facility.

In April 2005, he was convicted of a separate crime for spitting on a staff member at Stark, according to court records.

He was transferred to CIM, an adult prison facility, just over a year ago, Padilla said.

Padilla said investigators have not yet


determined whether they would submit a case against Barrett to the District Attorney for consideration of criminal charges.


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