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Death row inmate slashes guard’s forearm

A San Quentin State Prison death row inmate attacked a correctional officer in a shower area last week, a Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman said.

Richard Penunuri, 38, grabbed the correctional officer’s right forearm arm and slashed it with a weapon as Penunuri was being secured in a shower stall in the East Block around 3 p.m. on Oct. 3, spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.

The officer was removing Penunuri’s handcuffs at the time and he suffered a significant injury. He was taken to a hospital outside the prison for treatment and is expected to make a full recovery, Thornton said.

Penunuri, a convicted gang member, was sentenced to death in Los Angeles County on Feb. 1, 2001, for the 1997 gang-relayed murders of the unintended targets, Bryan Molina, 17, and Michael Murillo, 18, who were not gang members, Thornton said.

While in prison, Penunuri ordered the murder of Jamie Castillo to prevent him from testifying in the pending double-murder trial, Thornton said. He was convicted of Castillo’s first-degree murder and has been on death row since Feb. 7, 2001, Thornton said.

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