State officials believe 2 death row inmates died of COVID-19

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — State prison officials say two death row inmates died Friday from what they believe were COVID-19 complications. 

Scott Erskine (left) and Manuel Alvarez died from what CDCR officials believe are COVID-19 complications. (Courtesy CDCR)

One of the men, 59-year-old Manuel Machado Alvarez, was admitted to death row for several crimes committed throughout a four-day span in Sacramento in 1987.

Alvarez was arrested in Mississippi 12 days after his crimes and sentenced to death in Sacramento County in 1989 for first-degree murder, vehicle theft, forcible rape and first-degree robbery.

The other man, 57-year-old Scott Thomas Erskine, was on death row since 2004 for the murder of two boys in 1993 in San Diego. California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials say Erskine had been in prison since 1994 for several sexual assault charges. 

The CDCR says both men died at outside hospitals. 

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