SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) — Two death row inmates at San Quentin State Prison died Friday at outside hospitals from what appear to be complications related to COVID-19.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation identified the inmates as Scott Thomas Erskine, 57, and Manuel Machado Alvarez, 59. Erskine had been on death row since 2004 for the murder of two young boys in San Diego, while Machado had been on death row since 1989 for a string of crimes in Sacramento including rape and murder.
There have been two other deaths of condemned inmates deaths amid an exploding number of coronavirus cases at the prison.
Richard Stitely, 71, was found unresponsive in his cell last week on June 29 and was confirmed Monday to have tested positive for COVID-19. He was sentenced for the 1990 rape and murder of a 47-year-old woman in Los Angeles County.
Joseph S. Cordova, 75, was found dead in his cell on July 1. He had been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in San Pablo.
As of Friday afternoon, there were a total of 1,381 infections, with 944 of them occurring within the last two weeks. Dozens of inmates have been treated at Bay Area hospitals under heavy security, including Marin General, Seton Medical Center and Saint Francis Hospital in San Francisco.
The CDCR said there are currently 722 people on California’s death row.