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Sacramento DA / Media / Press Release Archives / 2016 Press Release Archives / 4.8.16: Defendant Sentenced for Murdering Jail Cellmate

Defendant Sentenced for Murdering Jail Cellmate

DATE:  April 8, 2016

CASE:  Ernest Salmons

PROSECUTOR:  Deputy District Attorney Thomas Asker, Homicide Unit

The Honorable Ernest Sawtelle sentenced Ernest Salmons to 15 years to life in prison.  On March 8, 2016, a jury convicted Salmons of second-degree murder.

Salmons was cellmates with Edward Larson at the Sacramento County Jail.  On December 14, 2014, Salmons informed jail staff that Mr. Larson was not moving.  Mr. Larson was cold to the touch and stiff.  Medical personnel responded immediately, but efforts to revive Mr. Larson were futile.  There was no apparent evidence of a struggle or blood in the cell. When the cell was processed with a latent blood reagent, significant blood traces were revealed, including a large pool of blood on the floor along the wall next to the bunk.  Blood collected and tested by the District Attorney’s Crime Lab confirmed it was Mr. Larson’s blood.  

The coroner concluded Mr. Larson died from blunt force injuries inflicted by an assault.  Among other injuries, Mr. Larson suffered lacerations to the liver, and sustained nine broken ribs on his right side and seven broken ribs on his left side.

In an interview with detectives, Salmons indicated he slapped Mr. Larson twice with an open hand and kicked him once.  He stated Mr. Larson hit his head a few times by his own volition.


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