Coroner: Inmate assault a factor in Correctional Officer’s death

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The death of a local correctional officer has been linked to an assault by prisoners.

Correctional Officer Armando Gallegos Jr. died Sept. 14 after being attacked five months earlier by inmates at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano.

He was 56.

An autopsy was inconclusive but the results of toxicological studies, released Tuesday, showed a “history of assault by inmates” was a contributing factor in his death.

The primary causes were congestive heart failure due to hypertension and other heart disease, according to the Kern County Coroner’s Office.

There was not enough evidence for coroner to rule whether the death was a homicide or natural death.

Gallegos and another officer were searching an inmate in the KVSP dayroomwhen they were attacked by 11 other felons, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Gallegos suffered a broken nose, head injuries, and fractured vertebrae, according to the memorial page. “He eventually was released from the hospital to recover at home but suffered a complication on Sept. 14th, 2018, and suddenly collapsed. He was returned to the hospital where he passed away,” the page said.

He was a U.S Navy veteran and had served with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 13 years, the page said.

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