Pelican Bay inmate with Bay Area ties allegedly killed by fellow inmate


(BCN) — A Pelican Bay State Prison inmate allegedly attacked and killed another inmate in a housing unit dayroom Friday evening.

Fernando Torres Lopez, 23, allegedly attacked Uriel Otero, 22, at about 5:30 p.m., after which Otero was taken to the prison’s medical facilities where he was pronounced dead about an hour later, according to California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials. Lopez was placed in a segregated housing unit while the prison’s Investigative Services Unit, the Del Norte County District Attorney’s Office and the Del Norte County Coroner complete their investigations.

No additional details, including a possible motive for the alleged attack, were reported by prison officials. Lopez was sentenced to 19 years and eight months in state prison in 2021 for attempted second-degree murder, carrying a firearm in public with a prior felony conviction, and two counts of assault with a deadly weapon in the commission of a street gang act in Santa Clara County, according to CDCR officials. Otero was serving a 25-year sentence for attempted second-degree murder with the use of a firearm and inflicting great bodily injury in the commission of a street gang act in Monterey County, CDCR officials said.

Pelican Bay houses 1,658 prisoners in Del Norte County.

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