Inmate Death at Kern Valley State Prison

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is investigating the death of Alfredo Valenzuela, 50, who was found unresponsive in his cell at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano during a security check at around 2:05 Saturday morning and died later at the prison’s triage center. Authorities are considering the case a homicide.

Valenzuela had been at Kern Valley since 2010 after being convicted in Los Angeles County of two counts for first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and vehicle theft.

Valenzuela murdered Charles “Clark” Shaum, 78, and his wife Bernice Shaum, 70, on either the night of July 25 or the early morning hours of July 26, 2003, after breaking into the couple’s Monrovia home.

Valenzuela’s cellmate, Noe Herrera, 36, was removed from the cell and has  been rehoused at the prison’s segregation unit pending the investigation.  Herrera has been at Kern Valley State Prison since August 2019 after his conviction for second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in Santa Barbara County.

-Jeff Lemucchi