Agustin Duran was set to spend the rest of his life behind bars after being convicted of child molestation, but the 66-year-old lived only a few days before being beaten to death by another inmate.
Duran was sent to Wasco State Prison in California this week following a conviction for lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14-years-old. As USA Today reported, Duran had been in the prison for less than a week when he was attacked by another inmate who repeatedly punched him in the face and chest.
Prison authorities said 19-year-old Andres Ayon attacked Duran on Saturday night, five days after the convicted child molester had been booked into the prison. Ayon allegedly refused to stop beating the inmate, and prison staff had to use pepper spray to halt the attack.
“An alarm was sounded and all inmates got down on the ground with the exception of Ayon, who continued to strike Duran,” prison officials noted in a press release on the incident. “Responding staff utilized a pepper spray grenade and Ayon complied and got down on the ground in a prone position.
“Staff placed Ayon in handcuffs and escorted him to a temporary holding cell. Duran was placed on a gurney and transported to the triage treatment area, where an ambulance was called.”
Duran was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries and died the following day.
It was not immediately clear how Ayon was able to attack Duran, or whether the men had been housed together in the prison. Ayon had been sentenced to prison for six years after conviction for robbery and use of a deadly weapon.
Neither man was slated to remain in the facility for long — Wasco State Prison is a short-term facility where inmates are processed, classified, and evaluated to determine their security level and what longterm prison facility they should be placed in. The prison houses 4,900 inmates and has close to 1,500 employees.
The child molester’s beating death attracted national attention and sparked some controversy across social media. While some seemed to celebrate the death of the man convicted of molesting a child, others chided the prison for failing to keep inmates safe, especially those who could become a target for other inmates.
Police said they are investigating the death of the convicted child molester as a homicide. It was not clear if Andres Ayon was yet facing any charges.