North Kern State Prison officials are investigating the death of incarcerated person Ariel Torres as a homicide after he was found unresponsive in his cell on Feb. 8.
At 9:08 p.m., an officer was conducting a security/welfare check of the housing unit when the officer approached a cell occupied by Torres and incarcerated person Matthew Holverstott. The officer observed Torres unresponsive in the cell and immediately summoned for medical response. Responding staff initiated lifesaving measures and transported Torres to the institution’s triage and treatment area. Torres was pronounced deceased at 9:41 p.m.
NKSP Investigative Services Unit is facilitating the homicide investigation along with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office and the Kern County Coroner. The Office of Inspector General was notified and the Kern County Coroner will determine Torres’s official cause of death.
Holverstott has been rehoused in administrative segregation pending the investigation.
Torres, 45, was sentenced to CDCR on Nov. 30, 2022, from San Mateo County to serve two years for possession of child pornography involving a person under 18 years of age.
Hoverstott, 44, was sentenced to CDCR on Aug. 31, 2022 from Sacramento County to serve life with the possibility of parole for second-degree murder and injury to elder causing death and or great bodily injury.
NKSP opened in April 1993 and is a medium security prison as well as a Reception Center housing approximately 3,500 inmates. The general population portion of the institution focuses on providing educational/vocational opportunities to the population. The RC currently processes incoming persons throughout counties in California within a 90-day period compiling criminal records and sentence histories to determine classification score and institutional placement.