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Alleged rec-yard slaying of Donovan Prison inmate investigated

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Posted at 3:51 PM, May 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-11 18:51:50-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Authorities Tuesday publicly identified a Donovan State Prison inmate who was fatally stabbed last week, allegedly by three fellow convicts.

John R. Thurs, 56, was attacked in a recreation yard at the Otay Mesa penitentiary about 7:15 p.m. Friday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. An inmate-manufactured weapon was found at the scene, the state agency reported.

Paramedics took Thurs to an outside hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Thurs was admitted to the prison from Sacramento County on Sept. 25, 1995, to serve a life sentence with the possibility of parole for involuntary manslaughter, possession of a gun by an ex-felon and an enhancement for having a prior felony conviction.

Identified as suspects in the alleged slaying of Thurs were inmates Leslie A. Bond Jr., 36; Andrew T. Hofer, 24; and Aaron M. Sims, 37.

Bond was sent to the San Diego-area penitentiary from Butte County on Aug. 5, 2010, to serve a life term with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder and possession of a controlled substance, according to CDCR public affairs.

Hofer was admitted from San Diego County on Dec. 20, 2018, to serve seven years for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI causing death and enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury and causing bodily injury or death to more than one victim.

Sims was incarcerated at Donovan out of Kings County on June 14, 2019, to serve six years for assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and possession of contraband while in custody.

Thurs' death is being investigated by the San Diego County Sheriff's Department and the prison's Investigative Services Unit.