6 jail inmates to be charged with murder in beating death of fellow inmate in California

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EL NIDO, California — Authorities say six Merced County Jail inmates face murder charges in connection with the death last week of another inmate who was apparently beaten in his housing unit.

Merced County Sheriff's Sgt. Delray Shelton said Tuesday that Jesse Rodriguez, Michael Turner, Jose Santana, Brenden Chanminalatha, Francisco Gonzales, and Anthony Salinas are expected to be charged with murder in connection with the Sept. 20 death of an inmate.

Sgt. Chuck Hale tells the Fresno Bee (http://bit.ly/1M0Diww) all six men ranging in age from 18 to 32 are suspects in the death of 29-year-old Alejandro Vega.

The victim was apparently beaten Sept. 19 and taken off life support the following day.

Investigators have not commented on a motive for the attack, but have said all six suspects and the victim belonged to Norteno street gangs in Merced County.

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