SAN QUENTIN (CBS SF) — John Beames, a child killer from Tulare County, appears to be the latest death row inmate to die from the coronavirus outbreak at San Quentin State Prison, according to prison officials.
Beames was pronounced dead Tuesday at an outside hospital from what appears to be complications related to COVID-19. An exact cause of death will be determined by the coroner. He was 67 years old.READ MORE: S.F. Supervisors Set to Designate Casa Sanchez Bldg. in Mission District a Historical Landmark
In 1994, Beames was convicted of the torture and beating death of the 15-month-old daughter of his live-in girlfriend. An autopsy revealed that the toddler died of a fierce blow to the abdomen that nearly severed her liver. The girl’s mother was sentenced to 25-to-life in prison for allowing the abuse to continue.
Beames was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in Tulare County in 1995.READ MORE: UPDATE: Vasco Road Reopened in Byron After Multi-Vehicle Injury Crash
Eight other condemned San Quentin inmates have died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, as have four other inmates from the general population. The 13 deaths are the second-most COVID-related deaths in the state prison system as of Wednesday afternoon. Nineteen inmates have died at the California Institution for Men in Chino.
According to the CDCR’s coronavirus tracker, there are 861 inmates at San Quentin with active infections, with 132 new infections within the last two weeks. Another 36 infected inmates have been released and 1,112 inmates have recovered from being infected with the virus.
On July 10, Governor Gavin Newsom announced that some 8,000 prisoners would be released to try to contain the COVID-19 outbreak at state prisons. The governor’s plan applies to low-level offenders with 180 days or less remaining in their sentences and those who are at risk of COVID-19-related complications.
In March of 2019, Newsom signed an executive order placing a moratorium on executions in California, and ordered the closure of the execution chamber as San Quentin.MORE NEWS: Valley Fair Mall Plan to Charge for Parking Draws Employees' Ire
There are currently 717 people on California’s death row, the CDCR said.