An inmate serving sentences for burglary, drug and battery charges out of San Diego County was fatally stabbed in an Imperial County prison.
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The inmate, 27-year-old Gerald Wayne Rowe, was stabbed around 11 a.m. Sunday in a recreation yard at Centinela State Prison in Imperial, according to Lt. Michael Ramirez of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
A prison guard found Rowe and sounded an alarm, prompting an emergency medical response that brought Rowe to the prison’s triage treatment area, Ramirez said.
Despite efforts from medical staff to save his life, Rowe was pronounced dead at 11:44 a.m., Ramirez said.
Investigators identified 35-year-old Andrew Jurjaks, who was serving 15 years for attempted second-degree murder out of Orange County, as a suspect in the apparent homicide, Ramirez said.
Jurjaks was placed in the prison’s administrative segregation unit until the investigation is complete, Ramirez said.
Investigators searched the recreation yard and found an “inmate-manufactured weapon” they believe was used in the stabbing, Ramirez said.
Authorities have not released a motive for the suspected killing.
In October 2013, Rowe was sentenced in San Diego County to six years in prison for first-degree burglary, possession of a controlled substance in jail or prison and possession of a controlled substance for sale, Ramirez said. He was then given a four-year sentence and his second strike in 2015 in San Diego County for possession of a controlled substance for sale.
Rowe began serving a seven-year prison sentence in September 2017 out of Riverside County for battery on a non-prisoner by a second striker, Ramirez said.
The suspect, Jurjaks, was sentenced in February 2014 in Orange County for an attempted second-degree murder conviction, Ramirez said.
Centinela is a medium- and maximum-security prison that houses 3,373 inmates, Ramirez said.
The Imperial County Sheriff’s Office and Imperial County District Attorney’s Office were assisting prison officials in the investigation of Rowe’s killing.
— City News Service
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