Hugo Pinell’s name leapt into the headlines as a murderous member of the “San Quentin 6,” a group that tried to kill their way out of prison in 1971.
Now his name is back in the headlines — murdered himself — in a violent, afternoon uprising at California State Prison, Sacramento, also known as New Folsom Prison.
“We have had a riot that ocurred in facility ‘B’ on the main exercise yard that involved 70 inmates,” said Lt. Aaron Konrad, public information officer for the prison.
“Several inmates were injured. One inmate is deceased as a result of stab wounds from other inmates,” he said.
According to one website supporting Pinell’s case for parole, he came to the U.S., in 1957 when he was 12 and spent 49 of his 71 years behind bars for rape, the murder of one correctional officer in Soledad and slitting the throats of other officers at San Quentin.
HugoPinell.com states he spent 43 of his prison years in solitary confinement.
FOX40 reached out to Kiilu Nyasha, a named contact listed on the support site, and left messages, but did not get a response.
When it comes to the start of the fighting that killed Pinell and sent 11 seriously injured others to outside hospitals, investigators haven’t yet been able to detail a grandiose plan.
“It appeared to be spontaneous,” Konrad said.
But he also says a number of inmate weapons — somehow out on the yard — brought on the bloodshed.
“So the exact make-up of the weapons are being investigated right now, and processed into evidence, but mostly they’re manufactured inmate stabbing weapons,” Konrad said.
Corrections officers deal with the constant threat of violence when policing the worst of the worst, so how unusual is a day like this?
“Fights are common place in a level 4 prison … fights,” Konrad said.
But as for a riot?
“It’s been awhile,” he said.
The California Correctional Peace Officers Association, the state union for the kind of officers who had to quell the riot and the kind killed by Pinell, refused comment about what happened Wednesday in Folsom.