Police: California inmate dies in prison attack, making him third in 11 days

Two inmates at a Northern California prison killed another inmate on Friday, authorities said, the third inmate killed in the state in less than two weeks.

According to officials, the latest murder occurred at High Desert State Prison. Terence Coleman, 51, was attacked by inmates William Lutts, 39, and Timothy Smith, 40.


Coleman died as a result of the attack, and authorities are treating his death as a homicide.

Lutts also was seriously injured and taken to an outside hospital, while Smith was moved to an isolation unit while the case is investigated.

Officials claimed at the time that two inmates receiving life sentences died last week after being attacked in California jails, one at Salinas Valley State Prison and the other at California State Prison, Sacramento, also known as New Folsom.

All three men involved in the most recent incident have extensive criminal backgrounds.


Coleman was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole on assault and robbery charges in Yolo County, following two earlier burglary convictions.

He was sentenced to an extra 12 years in jail for voluntary manslaughter while in prison.

Tuolumne County had sentenced Lutts to 18 years in prison for assault with a firearm on a police officer or firefighter. He was sentenced to another nine years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon as a second striker while in prison.

He was convicted of producing or having a lethal weapon this year and sentenced to two further years in prison.


Smith is serving a life sentence with the chance of parole for a murder and attempted murder in San Joaquin County.

He was previously sentenced to four years in prison for escaping a police officer causing death or grave bodily harm, vehicle theft, and failing to appear in court. He was later sentenced to four years in prison for burglary and vehicle theft.