Inmates Accused of Killing Correctional Officer

June 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Investigators say the inmates killed the man at the federal prison in Atwater. Security is tighter than usual at the high security federal prison located on the grounds of the former Castle Air Force base.FBI investigators are piecing together how and why prisoners were able to attack and kill the young correctional officer.

The correctional officer from chowchilla was just 22 years old and on the job less than one year.

Mark Pazin, Merced County Sheriff, says "The individual, Jose Rivera was attacked by one or more inmates. He suffered wounds and was taken to the hospital and succumbed to his injuries at 415 today."

In a news release the Bureau of Prisons says Rivera was attacked by two inmates in a housing unit. They were armed with homemade weapons.

In a written statement prison Warden Dennis Smith expressed regret to Rivera's family and vowed his attackers will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Because this is a federal prison local authorities have a limited role.

There are more than 11-hundred inmates in the high security portion of this prison another one hundred or so are in a satellite prison camp.

The victim, Jose Rivera, started last August. He was from Chowchilla.