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Death of Kern County inmate from San Diego area investigated as murder

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Posted at 2:52 PM, Mar 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-16 17:52:33-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The death at a Kern County prison of a man arrested in San Diego County for allegedly failing to register as a sex offender is being investigated as a suspected homicide, authorities said Wednesday.

Scott Gunter, 59, was found unconscious and unresponsive in his cell at Wasco State Prison shortly after 5 p.m. Tuesday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He was pronounced dead at an onsite medical facility about a half-hour later.

Though a ruling on Gunter's cause of death remains on hold pending completion of postmortem exams, his cell mate, 44-year-old Eugene Stroud, is under investigation for possibly killing him, according to CDCR public affairs. The agency did not disclose what led authorities to identify Stroud as a suspect in the case.

Gunter began serving a two-year sentence at the San Joaquin Valley penitentiary on Feb. 23.

Stroud started a 25-year, eight-month prison term on Feb. 8 for two counts of inflicting corporal injury and one count of making criminal threats to cause great bodily injury or death. He also received sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury involving domestic violence, personal use of a dangerous or deadly weapon and two prior felony convictions for serious offenses.

The Wasco State Prison Investigative Services Unit and Kern County Sheriff's Department are investigating Gunter's death.