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Death of California condemned inmate investigated as suicide

August 31, 2019
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, file photo, Aswad Pops looks over photographs on the walls of his cell in the east block of death row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. Authorities say they're investigating Aswad Pops, a condemned inmate's death as a suicide. They said Friday, Aug. 30, that 48-year-old Aswad Pops was found dead Thursday at San Quentin State Prison. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2016, file photo, Aswad Pops looks over photographs on the walls of his cell in the east block of death row at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. Authorities say they're investigating Aswad Pops, a condemned inmate's death as a suicide. They said Friday, Aug. 30, that 48-year-old Aswad Pops was found dead Thursday at San Quentin State Prison. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — California authorities say they’re investigating a condemned inmate’s death as a suicide.

They said Friday that 48-year-old Aswad Pops was found dead Thursday at San Quentin State Prison.

He was housed in his own cell on California’s death row.

Pops was sentenced to death in 2000 for the murders two years earlier of four people during the robbery of a carwash in Compton. Pops and an accomplice killed business owner Charles Hurd and employees Michael Hoard, Shawn Potter and Jessie Dunn.

California hasn’t executed anyone since 2006, and Gov. Gavin Newsom this year put a moratorium on executions while he is governor.

Twenty-seven condemned California inmates have committed suicide since 1978, including two within hours of each other in November, despite being in one of the state’s most secure lockups.

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