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Soledad prison inmate slips handcuffs, stabs prison guard in the head

Convicted rapist from Los Angeles County is accused of stabbing prison guard in the back of the head

A state prison guard in Soledad was stabbed in the back of the head Friday by an inmate who allegedly slipped out of his handcuffs and went at him with a handmade shank, a spokesman said.

The attack happened just before 1 p.m. as two guards took 48-year-old David Gomez out of a disciplinary isolation cell for an interview at Salinas Valley State Prison in Soledad, southeast of Monterey, Salinas Valley State Prison Lt. Darren Chamberlain said. 

The guard was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, but his current condition is unknown, Chamberlain said.

Gomez, who has a history of mental illness, was transferred from Sacramento to Monterey County for pretrial proceedings in the 2004 murder of his cellmate at Salinas Valley State Prison.

Gomez is serving a life sentence in a 1998 Los Angeles County case for rape, oral copulation on a minor under age 14 and burglary.

Chamberlain said the proceedings concern Gomez's attempts to fire his defense attorney.

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