3 federal inmates guilty of slaying prisoner in Victorville prison




  • In US
  • 2023-01-21 00:04:12Z
  • By Victorville Daily Press
Three inmates were found guilty of murdering a fellow prisoner in a federal facility in Victorville.
Three inmates were found guilty of murdering a fellow prisoner in a federal facility in Victorville.  

Three prisoners were found guilty of second-degree murder in the beating death of another inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution II in Victorville, Department of Justice Department officials said.

A federal jury found that on Oct. 1, 2013, the defendants killed a 38-year-old man, identified in court documents as "J.S." He was repeatedly hit and kicked until he died. An autopsy found that the man died of blunt force trauma to the head, DOJ officials announced Thursday.

The defendants were convicted late Wednesday. They include:

  • Aurelio Patino, a.k.a. "Augie," 39, most recently of Riverside, who at the time of the slaying was serving a 16-month sentence for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, and previously was serving a 100-month sentence in a California state prison.

  • Christopher Ruiz, 48, most recently of San Diego, who is serving a 10-year sentence after being convicted of racketeering and methamphetamine-related charges.

  • Jose Villegas, a.k.a. "Torch," 41, most recently of Los Angeles, who is serving a 15-year sentence in a methamphetamine case.

According to evidence presented at their six-day trial, J.S. was escorted to the recreation yard in the prison, where he was attacked by Patino, Ruiz and Villegas, who used their hands and feet to strike the man. It's unknown why J.S. was behind bars.

In addition to the murder charge, all three defendants pleaded guilty in Nov. 2022 to conspiracy to commit the second-degree murder of J.S.

U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney has scheduled a June 12 sentencing hearing, at which time each defendant will face a maximum sentence of life in federal prison.

The FBI investigated this crime. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory S. Scally, Gregory W. Staples, and Faraz R. Mohammadi of the Santa Ana Branch Office prosecuted the case.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: 3 inmates found guilty of murdering fellow prisoner in Victorville.

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