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A convicted sex offender from Contra Costa County who was killed in an apparent homicide in his state prison cell in Folsom last week has been identified as 51-year-old Raymond Johnston. Lt. Tony Quinn, of California State Prison-Sacramento in Folsom, said correctional officers found Johnston unresponsive in his cell just after 9 p.m. Wednesday as prisoners were being counted. Quinn said medical staff responded immediately and tried to resuscitate Johnston but he was pronounced dead about 20 minutes later. Quinn said the prison’s investigative services unit is investigating Johnston’s death as a homicide because there were “obvious signs of trauma” on him, although he declined to elaborate or disclose a cause of death. He said Johnston’s cellmate, a 46-year-old convicted murderer from Alameda County, is suspected of killing Johnson but he declined to release the cellmate’s name because of concern that the cellmate could be targeted in prison.
Quinn said the suspect has been in state prison since Nov. 9, 1986, and is serving a sentence of 17 years to life for a second-degree murder conviction in Alameda County. The suspect is being housed in the prison’s administrative segregation unit pending the completion of the investigation. Quinn said Johnston had been in prison since Dec. 10, 2001, and was serving 25 years to life after being convicted in Contra Costa County of assault with the intent to commit a sex act. Prison officials said California State Prison-Sacramento houses about 2,600 inmates and employs more than 1,700 staff members. Quinn said it primarily houses maximum-security inmates serving long sentences and those who have proved to be management problems at other institutions. He said about 85 percent of the inmates are serving life sentences, and that many have engaged in acts of violence while serving time at other prisons. Quinn said, “We have some pretty nasty fights here” but that homicides are uncommon, although there were two murders last year.
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