Inmate with coronavirus dies after spending nearly 30 years on death row

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A California inmate with coronavirus died last week after spending nearly 30 years on death row for raping and murdering a 47-year-old woman.

Richard Stitely, 71, died last Wednesday night at San Quentin State Prison, which is in the midst of a major coronavirus outbreak infecting over one-third of its inmate population, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Stitely was tested for the virus after his death and the Marin County Coroner’s Office on Monday confirmed the positive results, CBS SF reported.

The official cause of Stitely’s death is still being determined, the coroner’s office said.

As of late Thursday, 1,347 of San Quentin’s roughly 3,700 prisoners had tested positive for COVID-19, according to a CDCR tracker.

The majority of the prison’s cases, 1,079, occurred in the last two weeks.

San Quentin, as of Thursday, was home to half of all inmate virus patients in the state prison system, the state data shows.

Staffers at the prison have not been spared, with 114 of them testing positive for the virus as of Wednesday.

Stitely had been on death row since September 1992 for raping and killing Carol Unger, then dumping her body in the parking lot of a North Hollywood industrial complex.

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