- Associated Press - Friday, April 8, 2016

DELANO, Calif. (AP) - Authorities say an inmate at a Central California prison was strangled and coroner’s officials are calling his death a homicide.

Friday’s report follows the death of 27-year-old Johnny Montenegro. He was found unresponsive Wednesday in his cell at Kern Valley State Prison and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

His cellmate is under investigation.

Montenegro was serving a three-year sentence for possession of a gun by a felon.

It’s the fourth suspected homicide in nearly six months at the Delano prison, which houses nearly 4,000 inmates.



Three inmates died in November, December and January.

Prison officials say the deaths appear to be unrelated.

Kern Valley is the same prison where officials say former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips killed himself in January while he was awaiting a murder trial.

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