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Pair of San Quentin death row suicides unrelated, officials say


State corrections officials don’t believe the deaths of two inmates who likely committed suicide at San Quentin State Prison this past weekend are related.

The two inmates – Andrew Urdiales, 54, and Virendra Govin, 51 – were found dead in their cells, Urdiales early Saturday morning and Govin on Sunday night, officials said.

Urdiales was a former U.S. Marine who killed multiple women while stationed at bases in Southern California in the late 80s and mid 90s and three other women in Illinois in the mid 90s and early 2000s, state corrections officials said.

Urdiales was convicted of the California murders on Oct. 5 and sentenced to death. He was convicted of killing the Illinois women in 2004 and also sentenced to death. The Illinois sentence was commuted to life in prison in 2011 when the state outlawed the death penalty.

Urdiales had been on death row since Oct. 12. He was single-celled.

Prison officials said Govin was convicted on Dec. 21, 2004 of murdering a family of three and one other person in a home before setting it on fire with help from two accomplices. He had been on death row since Jan. 5, 2005 and was also single-celled.

The cause of each death will be officially determined by an autopsy.

Thirteen people have been executed in California since Oct. 2, 2015, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

All male prisoners in California on condemned status are housed at San Quentin in maximum-security custody level units.

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