Inmate on Death Row Injures Guard

From Associated Press

A death row inmate slashed a correctional officer at San Quentin State Prison on Wednesday, prompting a lockdown of the entire prison, authorities said.

Inmate Richard Penunuri, 27, slashed the officer in the lower-left arm with a homemade razor-like weapon when the guard was removing Penunuri's handcuffs in his cell about 10:45 a.m., said Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"When the officer uncuffed one hand, the inmate spun around and slashed him," Thornton said. The inmate then flushed the weapon down the toilet, she said.

The officer, who has not been identified, was taken to a hospital where he received more than 30 stitches to repair a gash that went "nearly down to the bone," Thornton said.

Penunuri, who was sentenced to death in 2001 in Los Angeles County for killing two people and ordering the killing of a witness at his trial, was housed in the adjustment center for inmates with a history of disciplinary problems, Thornton said.

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