California prisons investigate 2 inmate deaths as homicides


Officials in California prisons 200 miles apart are separately investigating the deaths of two inmates as homicides.

Mule Creek State Prison officials say inmate Robert Hunter, 77, was found unresponsive in his cell Monday with blunt force injuries to his face.

His cellmate, 46-year-old Matthew Wanser, is considered the suspect.


Both were serving life sentences at the prison in Ione, Hunter for child molestation from Riverside County and Wanser for murder from San Diego County.

Meanwhile, Salinas Valley State Prison officials in Soledad are investigating the death Sunday of 42-year-old Jason Lewis.

Officials say 35-year-old Michael Ellison attacked Lewis with an inmate-made weapon. Guards used chemical agents to stop the attack.

Both were serving life sentences for murder, Lewis from San Diego County and Ellison from Riverside County.