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Inmate found slain at Northern California prison

FOLSOM, Calif. — Officials are investigating the death of a Northern California prison inmate as a homicide.

They said Friday that guards found 38-year-old Tou Thao lying unresponsive on the floor of his cell Thursday at California State Prison, Sacramento.

He was pronounced dead at an outside hospital.

They’ve identified his cellmate, 45-year-old Jose Negrete, as a suspect. He is serving a life sentence from San Mateo County for kidnapping and a variety of violent sex crimes.

Thao was serving a six-year sentence from Butte County for a violent second-degree robbery.

The high-security prison east of Sacramento houses about 2,100 inmates.

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