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Death row inmate found dead, officials probe suicide

Kenneth FriedmanPrison officials suspect suicide after a death row inmate at San Quentin was found dead early Sunday morning.

Sam Robinson, a spokesman for the prison, declined to say how the inmate, Kenneth Friedman, 58, died because the coroner is still examining the death.

Twenty inmates have committed suicide on death row, most recently in May, when convicted child molester and killer James Lee Crummel hanged himself with an extension cord.

Friedman was sentenced to death for a 1994 kidnapping and murder.  

A dispute over a drug trafficking operation had led Friedman to travel from New York to California to kidnap a man named Peter Kovach.

Friedman and an accomplice found Kovach at a cellphone store in Torrance, and they kidnapped him and Ted Gould, a bystander. Both were taken to a motel and strangled to death.


Group sues California over isolation of some prison inmates

Child molester who hanged himself called ‘most evil person’

Inmate facing execution in O.C. case commits suicide in San Quentin

-- Chris Megerian in Sacramento

Photo: Kenneth Friedman was found dead on death row in San Quentin on Sunday. Credit: California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

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