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Child killer, 67, is the NINTH death row inmate to die from COVID-19 at San Quentin prison

Child killer John Beames has been pronounced dead on Tuesday following complications from the coronavirus, the latest Californian death row inmate to die from COVID-19. 

The 67-year-old was pronounced dead at an outside hospital and his exact cause of death will be determined by a coroner, CBS San Francisco reports.

Beames was convicted in 1994 of the torture and beating death of the 15-month-old daughter of his girlfriend, who was living with him at the time. 

He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in Tulare County in 1995. 

An autopsy revealed that the child died from a fierce blow to the abdomen that nearly severed her liver. The girl’s mother was sentenced to 25 years to life for allowing the abuse. 

So far, eight other death row inmates at San Quentin have died of confirmed or suspected coronavirus, while four others have died in the general prison population in the facility. 

As of Wednesday afternoon, the 13 deaths are the second-most COVID-related deaths in the state prison system. 

At the California Institution for Men in Chino, 19 inmates have died. 

There are currently 861 inmates at San Quentin with active infections, according to the CDCR’s coronavirus tracker. 

On July 10, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that some 8,000 prisoners would be released to try to curb the outbreak at state prisons. 

His plan applies to low-level offenders with 180 days or less remaining in their sentences and those who are high risk. 

In March 2019, Newsom signed an executive order placing a moratorium on executions in California. He then ordered the closure of the execution chamber at San Quentin. 

At the moment, there are 717 people on California’s death row, the CDCR said.  

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