SACRAMENTO, CA (AP) - A Death Row inmate has died of natural causes while awaiting execution for killing his own mother.
Lt. Sam Robinson, a spokesman for San Quentin State Prison, said Frank Manuel Abilez died in the prison's hospital Tuesday.
Abilez, who was 53, had a long-term illness. Robinson says his death was expected but would not discuss the illness, citing privacy laws.
Abilez was on death row for sodomizing and strangling his 68-year-old mother in 1996. He was convicted by a Los Angeles County jury in 1997 and sentenced to die for killing Beatrice Abilez Loza, a mother of 10.
The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says 76 condemned inmates have died of natural causes or committed suicide since California reinstated the death penalty in 1978. Fourteen have been executed.
The Associated Press