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Officials investigate Santa Barbara County man suspected of killing cellmate

DELANO, Calif. – Officials from Kern Valley State Prison said they are investigating the April 30th, 2022 death of Alfredo Valenzuela, 50, as a homicide.

Alfredo Valenzuela, Kern Valley State Prison

Valenzuela's cellmate, Noe Herrera from Santa Barbara County, was rehoused at the institutions Administrative Segregation Unit pending investigation, according to officials.

Noe Herrera, Kern Valley State Prison

Officers said they discovered Valenzuela unresponsive in the cell he shared with Herrera, 36, during a security check on Saturday around 2:05 a.m.

An emergency medical alert was immediately issued, according to the prison, and staff responded and attempted life-saving measures. Herrera was removed from the cell.

Valenzuela was taken to the institution’s Treatment and Triage Area for medical treatment, but he was pronounced dead at 2:31 a.m, according to officials.

Officials said that Valenzuela was received from Los Angeles County in November 2010 with a life-without-parole sentence for two counts of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and vehicle theft.

Herrera, his cellmate, was received in August 2019 from Santa Barbara County with a life-with-parole sentence for second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, according to officials.

The prison said that the Kern County Coroner's Office will determine the official cause of death, and that the Office of the Inspector General has been notified.

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Lily Dallow

Lily Dallow is a digital journalist and assignment editor at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Lily, click here.

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