Stories posted are written by National news Journalists, not by this blog. The Journalist's name and "Source" link follow each story. We add "Tags" based on facts from the article, which are used for later retrieval, if someone wants to see all stories by a tag (Click tag of choice). Tags are at the top of story.
Our Commenting Policy

Friday, September 17, 2010

S.J. inmate charged in cellmate's killing

This article is to document the death of "Jonathan Guy Alexander." However the article also mentions the death of Phillip Kunkle, which is documented HERE (A dup posting of this article)
9-17-2010 California:

STOCKTON - A prisoner at Tracy's Deuel Vocational Institution found dead in June was killed by his cellmate, according to a criminal complaint filed by San Joaquin County prosecutors.

John Joseph Lydon, 37, was convicted previously of murdering a cellmate at another California state prison, so this new charge carries a special circumstance, making him eligible for a death sentence.

If prosecutors prove their case against Lydon, this will make the second time in three years that a prisoner at Deuel has murdered a fellow inmate in the same cell.

Lt. Gilbert Valenzuela, a Deuel spokesman, said Lydon and his alleged victim, 49-year-old Jonathan Guy Alexander, were housed together in the sensitive-needs unit designed to protect vulnerable inmates.

While prosecutors say Alexander had been convicted twice of sex crimes, including child molestation in 1993 from Siskiyou County, Valenzuela did not know why Lydon was considered a special-needs inmate.

Deuel officials take Alexander's death seriously, Valenzuela said.

"Anytime we have a murder occur ... of course it's a concern," he said. "We're trying to ensure that all procedures are followed to ensure that doesn't ever happen again."

Lydon, a career criminal once convicted of trying to kill a Hollywood movie executive, now stands charged with first-degree murder and the special circumstance of committing a prior murder. The charges for Alexander's death were filed Sept. 2.

Lydon's criminal history dates back at least 17 years. In the mid-1990s, Lydon accrued multiple convictions for theft, burglary and robbery on the East Coast.

As a fugitive from Boston, Lydon and another man traveled to Los Angeles where in 2000 they met film executive Jeffrey Harstedt, credited with having worked on the Tom Cruise film "Risky Business."

The fugitives hogtied, robbed and stabbed Harstedt, who survived the attack in his home.

Lydon and his accomplice were later arrested in San Francisco and returned to Los Angeles, where a jury convicted them of attempted murder. Lydon received a sentence of 54 years to life in prison.

Lydon in 2004 was housed at Pleasant Valley State Prison in Coalinga with Phillip Kunkle, a 60-year-old convicted child molester.

Lydon admitted to strangling Kunkle to death and received another sentence of 15 years to life.

It is unclear if Lydon is housed with another inmate now, but a corrections spokesman said prisoners under investigation are often housed alone in administrative segregation.

San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau has filed an order to have the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation transport Lydon back to San Joaquin County from California State Prison, Sacramento, for prosecution.

Himelblau said it appears that Lydon strangled Alexander but declined to give more details. Himelblau said he has yet to receive all of the autopsy reports.

Lydon's case is strikingly similar to another murder at Deuel.

In 2007, Rick Henry Kase murdered his cellmate, 28-year-old convicted child molester Randy James Rabelos. Tired of Rabelos' shouting, Kase suffocated him, saying, "Goodbye, Randy."

At Kase's sentencing last year, San Joaquin County Deputy Public Defender Keith Arthur said the crime never should have happened. A judge sentenced Kase to 90 years to life in prison.

"I cannot imagine what was going through the minds of the people at DVI when they housed a convicted child molester with my client," Arthur said at Kase's sentencing.

Lydon is scheduled for an Oct. 5 arraignment in the San Joaquin County Superior Court on the new charges. ..Source.. by Scott Smith, Record Staff Writer


Inmate: Prison knew of my past

2-10-2011 California:

Man suspected in cellmate slayings says he was abused

An inmate charged with murdering his cellmate at Tracy's Deuel Vocational Institution last year blames prison officials for putting him in the situation that turned deadly.

John Lydon, 37, also claims his recent troubles stem from childhood abuse by notorious Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, who molested him as a schoolboy in Boston. That personal trauma has created a deep aversion to pedophiles, which he says he carries with him today.

These statements come in a two-page letter Lydon sent in response to one from The Record seeking comment on circumstances of the cellmate's death.

Lydon also says he informed Deuel officials that, in 2004, he killed a child molester who was a cellmate at another California prison. Lydon told them he didn't mind being housed at Deuel with other races. "Just no child molesters."

Lydon then quotes a jailer's reply: "I'll do what I want. This is my prison." He accuses jailers of setting him up.

Deuel spokesman Lt. Gilbert Valenzuela declined to comment on Lydon's letter, citing the ongoing criminal case.

Officials accuse Lydon of strangling 49-year-old Jonathan Guy Alexander to death in June. Lydon was housed with the Siskiyou County man, who was serving time for a 1993 conviction, including child molestation.

In his letter, Lydon all but admits to the killing. The new charge and his previous cellmate's murder now make Lydon eligible for a death sentence.

"I don't deserve the death penalty," Lydon writes. "Child molesters do."

Despite his letter, Lydon has pleaded not guilty to killing his cellmate.

He awaits a May preliminary hearing before San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Terrence Van Oss, who will decide if Lydon should face a jury trial. After that prosecutors will decide the penalty they seek - death or life in prison.

Lydon's letter engenders no sympathy from San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Robert Himelblau.

Himelblau said the letter demonstrates Lydon's self-absorption, a trait that is all too common for criminals who blame everyone else.

"He's a victim in every single scenario," said Himelblau, citing Lydon's attempt to hold the priest in Boston and the jailers at Deuel responsible for his actions.

Lydon has a long criminal history from Massachusetts to California.

He's been convicted throughout his adult life of theft, burglary and robbery. In 2000, he and another man hogtied, robbed and stabbed a Hollywood movie executive, who survived the attack.

Lydon explained in his letter that the executive had asked him and his accomplice to find young boys to make gay porn.

"I'm guilty. I stabbed him," Lydon writes. "But he was no saint."

There's no doubt that Lydon's criminal bent stems from being molested, said Lydon's sister, Mary Gallipeau, who was reached at home in Massachusetts. They were students together at St. Brendan, a Catholic school in Dorchester.

Lydon's claim of child abuse by the priest could not be independently verified. His sister and an uncle, Kevin Mulligan, both said they believed it were true and that it left an indelible mark on his life.

Gallipeau said that as a child she was jealous the priest took her 9-year-old brother to the carnival and not her. She didn't learn until years later that the priest molested her brother at least twice, she said.

The priest, Geoghan, was among the first American clerics discovered to have molested children, and the church paid his victims millions. They were reportedly each paid $80,000 to $300,000.

Geoghan, who was sent to prison for molesting a boy, died at age 68 in 2002 when another inmate strangled him.

Gallipeau said her brother, who also goes by John Mulligan, received a settlement from the Archdiocese of Boston, but not until after he was sent to prison.

In prison, she said her brother hasn't been able to take advantage of counseling, which also is part of his settlement. The abuse causes her brother to harbor enmity for the church and for homosexuals, she said.

"It's been tough on him," Gallipeau said. "His way of thinking is off. He never got the help." ..Source.. Scott Smith

No comments: