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Authorities probe death of state prison inmate as a homicide

According to CDCR, prison staff found Joshua E. Kirtley unresponsive in his cell at the Pelican Bay State Prison on Saturday.

CRESCENT CITY, Calif. — Authorities are investigating as a homicide the death of a 42-year-old inmate at a state prison in Northern California.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says that about 12:30 p,m. Saturday, prison staff found Joshua E. Kirtley unresponsive in his cell at the Pelican Bay State Prison.

He was pronounced about a half-hour later after attempts to revive him. 

The department says Jesse A Rippee, Kirtley's cellmate, was in the recreation yard when Kirtley was found. 

The department says Rippee had injuries that included facial swelling, scratches and bruises. Rippee was treated at the prison and then placed in segregated housing as the prison's Investigative Services Unit probes the incident.

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