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San Quentin Arias, who was sentenced to death, died in hospital

SAN QUENTIN – A 58-year-old man convicted of murder, who is also serving a life sentence without parole, died on Sunday from obvious complications of COVID-19, state prison officials said.

In a statement Sunday night, state prison officials said the inmate, Pedro Arias, had been treated at an outside hospital and that a coroner would announce the exact cause of Romero’s death, the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation said.

Arias has been on death row since March 5, 1990, nearly two weeks after his conviction in Sacramento County for a first-degree conviction and a second-degree robbery while armed with a firearm.

He had also received a life sentence without parole after convictions for kidnapping for ransom, intrusion with a foreign object, attempted sodomy, debauchery and lazy actions on a child under 1

4, sodomy on a child under 14, two for violent rape, second degree robbery and improvements in the use of firearms.

At least two dozen San Quentin inmates have died, including several sent to medical centers in the Bay area for treatment after the outbreak of COVID-19, which affected more than a thousand inmates.

Last weekend, protesters tried to support the marshal to alleviate the deadly effects of the pandemic in state prisons. On Sunday, the prison guard, who was battling the disease, gave in.

Arias was one of 714 people awaiting execution on California’s death row, although Gov. Gavin Newsom virtually abolished the death penalty here.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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