The two U.S. Penitentiary Atwater inmates suspected of stabbing and killing correctional officer Jose Rivera will face first-degree murder charges, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
The charges come nearly two months after Rivera, a 22-year-old Navy veteran, was attacked by inmates wielding handmade weapons inside a housing unit at USP Atwater, a high-security federal prison just outside Merced.
Inmates James Leon Guerrero, 43, and Jose Cabrera Sablan, 40, both from Guam, will each face charges of first-degree murder, first-degree murder of a federal correctional officer and murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said Thursday afternoon during a press conference in Fresno.
Though both inmates are already serving life sentences for earlier crimes, the new charges could carry death sentences, Scott said.
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