AP NEWS

Condemned California inmate dies of apparent natural causes

March 11, 2019
This undated booking photo provided by the The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows 69-year-old Ronald Bell an inmate at California State Prison Corcoran. Bell has died of apparent natural causes while awaiting execution. Corrections officials that Bell died Friday, March 8, 2019. (The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

CORCORAN, Calif. (AP) — A 69-year-old California inmate has died of apparent natural causes while awaiting execution.

Corrections officials said Monday that Ronald Bell died Friday at a state prison in Corcoran.

California’s death row is at San Quentin State Prison, but the Corcoran prison has a unit that provides long-term medical care.

Corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton says an autopsy will determine his cause of death, but that it appears to be of natural causes.

He was sentenced to death in Contra Costa County in 1979 for the first-degree murder of Raymond Murphy during a jewelry store robbery in Richmond.

California has not executed anyone since 2006.

Seventy-nine condemned inmates have died from natural causes since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978. There are 737 offenders on California’s death row.