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San Gabriel Valley sex offender allegedly killed by cellmate

January 06, 2011|By Ann M. Simmons | Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Authorities are investigating the death of a registered sex offender who they suspect was murdered by his cellmate while serving a 30-year sentence for sexually molesting a girl in 2008.

Jaime Elizondo, 35, was "found deceased in his cell" at High Desert State Prison in Susanville on Dec. 20 under what appeared to be "suspicious circumstances," said Lt. Charles Hahn, a spokesman for the prison.

"We won't know details until the investigation is complete," Hahn said.

Elizondo's cellmate, Steven Cisneros, is the prime suspect in the case and has been placed in the prison's administrative segregation unit pending investigation, Hahn said.

Elizondo was jailed Sept. 27 after conviction for "lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14, with prior felony convictions," according to prison officials. He had exposed himself to a girl inside an Arcadia bookstore.

He arrived at High Desert State Prison, a 4,600-inmate facility, on Nov. 30, the same day Cisneros arrived. Cisneros is serving a sentence of 56 years to life for murder with prior felony convictions, according to information provided by prison officials.

Hahn said the case is being investigated by the Lassen County district attorney's office, the Susanville Police Department, the Lassen County Sheriff's Department and the Investigative Services Unit at the prison. The Office of Inspector General, Bureau of Independent Review, has also been notified, Hahn said.

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