A report from the Kern County Coroner shows that an inmate who died at the California Correctional Institution at Tehachapi on Sunday, July 15, was the victim of strangulation and blunt force trauma.
The death of 39-year-old Ladwright Lamar Smith has been ruled a homicide.
Yesterday a prison official said the death is being investigated by institution staff and the Kern County Sheriff's Office. A suspect, 28-year-old Anthony Taylor, was identified.
Taylor is serving a life sentence for a first-degree murder conviction from Kern County and had arrived at the prison only two days before Smith's death.
The California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation's online inmate locator shows that Smith was admitted to the CDCR on May 5, 2010. A press release from CCI indicated he had been at that institution since May 29. His commitment offense is corporal injury to spouse. He was serving an eight year sentence. He also received a four year sentence from San Bernardino County in September 2009, for possession of marijuana for sale.
Taylor was sentenced to life without possibility of parole in September 2007 for his role in the so-called "Rockin' Rodeo" bar shootings in the Rosedale area of Bakersfield in May 2006.