SAN QUENTIN— As of Saturday, July 4, three more California death row inmates died of apparent COVID-19 complications. The outbreak has infected approximately 40% of inmates at San Quentin State Prison.
Scott Thomas Erskine, 57, Manuel Machado Alvarez, 59, and Dewayne Michael Car, 59, died at hospitals.
Erskine was sent to death row in 2004 after molesting and strangling Jonathon Sellers, 9, and Charles Keever, 13. The two disappeared in 1993 while riding their bikes in the San Diego area. Erskine died on Friday, July 3.
Alvarez was sent to death row in 1989. According to the corrections department: “In a four-day period in May 1987 in Sacramento, Alvarez raped a 38-year-old woman, fled in a stolen vehicle, fatally wounded a 35-year-old man while trying to rob him, and knocked a 78-year-old woman unconscious and stole her car.” Alvarez died on Friday, July 3.
Carey was sent to death row in 1996. He was convicted of killing Ernestine Campbell, 51, in her Harbor City home. Her hands were tied to the handrail of a staircase and she had been stabbed to death. Carey died on Saturday, July 4.
721 inmates are currently on death row in California.
There have been a total of 1,408 COVID-19 cases at San Quentin State Prison, 944 of which have emerged in the past two weeks. Governor Gavin Newsom has called it a “deep area of focus and concern.” Newsom is now considering releasing high-risk inmates, as well as inmates close to finishing their prison sentence.