High Desert State Prison Investigates Inmate Death as Homicide


An incarcerated person’s death at High Desert State Prison is being investigated by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials as a homicide.

On August 26, two inmates, Jesse E. Diaz and Jose A. Nava, allegedly attacked another inmate, Alexander J. Jasso, using a makeshift weapon. Jasso sustained multiple stab wounds and was taken to an outside medical facility, where he was pronounced dead. No staff or other inmates were harmed in the incident.

Both suspects, Diaz and Nava, have been placed in restricted housing while the investigation is underway. The HDSP Investigative Services Unit, along with the Lassen County District Attorney’s Office and the Lassen County Coroner, are conducting the investigation. The Office of the Inspector General has also been informed, and the County Coroner will determine the official cause of Jasso’s death.

Alexander J. Jasso was 33 and had been incarcerated since June of 2011 after being convicted of attempted first-degree murder, assault with a semiautomatic firearm, and discharging a firearm in inhabited areas. He had additional charges related to street gang activity.

Jesse E. Diaz, had been imprisoned since 2014 for charges including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and assault causing significant bodily harm. He also faced charges for firearm use and street gang activity. Jose A. Nava has been incarcerated since 2017 for attempted second-degree murder and discharging a firearm in inhabited areas. Like the others, he faced enhancements for firearm use and street gang involvement in serious felonies.