Officials Investigating A Suspected Fatal Stabbing At The State Prison In Kern Valley

Kern Valley State Prison

Kern Valley State Prison officials are investigating the alleged fatal stabbing of a prisoner on Thursday afternoon in the recreation yard of the facility.

An inmate in Kern Valley State Prison was stabbed to death on Thursday afternoon, officials said. Two San Diego County convicts were being investigated Friday for allegedly stabbing a fellow prisoner to death at a Central California penitentiary where they serve lengthy terms for violent crimes.

Kern Valley State Prison

At Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, Michael Arzaga, 47, and Matthew Thornton, 38, reportedly beat 48-year-old convicted killer Robert Hargrave with improvised weapons about 1:30 p.m. The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California reported on Thursday.

According to CDCR public relations guards used chemical agents to avoid the attack. Hargrave, who had sustained puncture wounds on his neck, chest, and abdomen, was transported by medical staff to a prison center. Later, he was admitted to an outpatient hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Thornton, 38, was sentenced to complete a 14-year term from San Diego County on May 11, 2009 for attempted second-degree murder and a five-year enhancement for a previous felony conviction of a serious crime Hargrave had been in jail since May 1994.

Kern Valley State Prison

He had been admitted from Riverside County and served life without the possibility of first-degree murder parole. Hargrave had been imprisoned since May 1994, having been sentenced to life in Riverside County without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

Arzaga, 47, was taken from San Diego County on March 23, 1998 to complete a life term with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder. In 1998 Arzaga was accused of second-degree murder and served a life term with the possibility of parole.

In 2009, Thornton was admitted to the Bakersfield north penitentiary for serving a 19-year term for attempted murder. The murder is handled by a jail forensic team and the Kern County Sheriff’s office. An inquiry is underway.


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