|San Quentin's Death Row|
A Death Row inmate at San Quentin State Prison slashed a correctional officer with a makeshift weapon inside one of the facility’s showers — a decade after he pulled a similar attack on another correctional officer, authorities said Monday.
Richard Penunuri, 38, attacked the officer shortly after 3 p.m. on Oct. 3 as he was being secured in a shower stall at the prison’s East Block Housing Unit, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The officer was removing Penunuri handcuffs in the shower when the condemned prisoner quickly grabbed the officer’s right arm and slashed it with a homemade weapon, officials said.
The officer sustained a significant injury to his forearm and was taken to a hospital outside of the prison for treatment. Authorities said the guard is expected to make a full recovery.
Penunuri, one of 749 inmates housed in the prison’s Death Row, was sentenced in Los Angeles County on Feb. 1, 2001 for the 1997 gang-related slayings of Bryan Molina, 17, and Michael Murillo, 18. The victims were not gang members and were “unintended targets,” prison officials said.
Penunuri was also convicted on an additional count of first-degree murder after he ordered a hit on a witness, Jamie Castillo, to prevent him from testifying in the double-murder trial.
In 2006, Penunuri slashed another San Quentin correctional officer on the arm as he was being locked into his cell, prompting a prison-wide lockdown. The wound nearly reached the officer’s bone and required 30 stitches, officials said.
Penunuri will receive a rules violation for last week’s attack, said Terry Thornton, a spokeswoman for the department. Officials investigating the incident will provide their findings to the Marin County district attorney’s office, which will decide whether to press charges, she said.
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