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Sheriff investigates killing at Lancaster prison

August 21, 2010 |  9:56 pm

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is investigating the apparent homicide of an inmate at the state prison in Lancaster.

The inmate, described only as a black man, was discovered dead at 10:13 p.m. Thursday but the sheriff's department was not called until 6:05 the next morning, according to limited information in a news release.

A spokesman for the sheriff's department did not have details yet about the delay, but said it's possible that at first the death could have been mistakenly attributed to natural causes.

The prison holds 4,550 inmates, nearly double the 2,300 it was designed for, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

-- Alan Zarembo