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December 8, 2023

Salinas Valley State Prison officials investigating inmate’s death as homicide

SOLEDAD — Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) officials are investigating the Oct. 5 death of an inmate at the Soledad institution as a homicide.

At about 8:50 a.m., Robert Tunstall was attacked on a recreation yard by another inmate. Staff performed life-saving measures and an ambulance was summoned; however, Tunstall, 64, was pronounced dead at 9:21 a.m.

Investigators recovered one inmate-made weapon and limited population movement on the yard to facilitate the investigation being conducted by SVSP’s Investigative Services Unit.

The Monterey County Coroner will determine Tunstall’s official cause of death.

Tunstall was admitted from Solano County in 1976 to serve life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder.

Investigators have identified Lawrence Adams, 42, as the alleged suspect. He was admitted from Tuolumne County in 2007 to serve life with the possibility of parole for arson of property. 

While incarcerated, Adams was sentenced for assault in both Lassen and Monterey counties in 2009 and 2016, respectively.

Staff Report
Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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