Officials report fatal attack on inmate at Kern Valley State Prison; second killing in a week

A mug shot of a man in an orange prison jumpsuit, with a tattoo of an H near his left eye
Sidney Kang, 31, was attacked by two other inmates around 10 a.m. Thursday in a maximum-security recreation yard at Kern Valley State Prison, officials said. He died less than an hour later.
(California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

An inmate at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano was killed Thursday in an attack by two other inmates, California prison officials said.

Sidney Kang, 31, was attacked around 10 a.m. in a maximum-security recreation yard, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was treated at the prison but died less than an hour after the attack.

Prison officers reportedly found two “inmate-manufactured weapons,” officials said.

The incident is the second suspected killing reported at Kern Valley State Prison in the last week and at least the third reported in a Kern County state lockup since the start of the year.


On Saturday, Alfredo Valenzuela, 50, was found dead in his cell. Prison officials were investigating the death as a homicide and named Valenzuela’s cellmate, 36-year-old Noe Herrera, as a suspect.

Jason Turnage, 47, and Mirko Salaris, 48, were identified by the L.A. County coroner’s office as two of the men found dead at a Spring Street apartment.

May 11, 2022

In March, an inmate at Wasco State Prison, also in Kern County, was found dead in his cell in a suspected homicide.

Kang had been admitted to Kern Valley State Prison from Los Angeles County on Monday to serve a 14-year sentence for assault charges.

The two suspects in his killing were identified as Anthony Ramirez, 40, and Michael Caldera, 35.

Ramirez since 2008 has been serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder. He is also serving sentences for a previous prison assault and for possessing and or manufacturing a deadly weapon in prison, among other charges, according to the corrections department.

Caldera since 2010 has been serving a 71-year sentence for second-degree robbery convictions.

Kang’s death is under investigation by Kern Valley State Prison’s investigative services unit, the Kern County district attorney’s office and the county coroner.