A Jury Finds a High Desert State Prison Inmate Guilty of Attempted Murder of a Correctional Officer


The jury delivered the guilty verdict against Raul Torres Serrano, an inmate at High Desert State Prison (HDSP), for the willful, deliberate, and premeditated attempted murder of the correctional officer during an incident that happened on May 8, 2019.

The jury also convicted Serrano on additional charges of assault with a deadly weapon and having a sharpened instrument while confined in a correctional institution.

The Lassen County District Attorney’s office stated the prosecution presented compelling testimony that detailed the events leading up to the attack. Where earlier on that day in May, the officer conducted a routine cell check on Serrano, during which contraband was discovered and confiscated. Of this action, the inmate reportedly became angered. Later that same day, Serrano managed to obtain a weapon and attempted to stab the correctional officer in a day room, making explicit threats to end the officer’s life.

A sentencing date has not been scheduled yet; however, Serrano faces 15 years to life in prison for the charges.

A statement by the DA’s office says Some legislators in Sacramento are advocating for shorter sentences, removing life sentences, and reclassifying offenses as nonviolent, potentially releasing thousands of offenders from state prisons. However, recent incidents like Inmate Serrano’s attempted murder of a correctional officer highlight concerns about releasing such offenders for something as small as seizing contraband, which the DA says would likely be something resolved administratively with a rules violation prompted the district attorney to emphasize that lawmakers want to return individuals like Serrano to neighborhoods.

The DA’s office thanked “the jurors’ time and attention over the last two days. The case was investigated and submitted by HDSP’s Investigative Services Unit (HDSP-ISU) and prosecuted by Special Prosecutor Jordan Funk.