Sex Offender Murdered In California Prison in Soledad

Three San Joaquin County men serving sentences in a prison near Monterey are among a group suspected of using a jailhouse shank to kill a convicted child molester Friday, a spokesman for the Salinas Valley State Prison said.

Sumnang Chea, 21, David Inthirath, 27, and Sarim Kheleung, 25, were among those believed to have killed inmate Donald Jones, 30, of Los Angeles, said Lt. Eric Moore of the prison in Monterey County. Jones was sentenced to spend 20 years in prison for sodomy on a child younger than 14 years old.

Jones was attacked at 10:53 a.m. on a general population yard for maximum-security inmates. He was taken by ambulance to an outside medical center and was pronounced dead at 12:17 p.m., Moore said.

Another three inmates from Sacramento, Orange and Los Angeles counties also are suspected in the death. All the attackers are in their 20s, Moore said.

Of those from San Joaquin County, Chea was serving a sentence for second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter, Inthirath had been sentenced for voluntary manslaughter, and Kheleung was sentenced to prison for second-degree murder, Moore said.