A Groveland man sentenced to more than 33 years in prison has been accused of beating his cellmate to death at the California Correctional Institution in Tehachapi.
Joshua Cody Power, 29, was sentenced last April in Tuolumne County Superior Court on charges of kidnapping, inflicting corporal injury to a spouse, robbery, burglary, two counts of false imprisonment by violence, criminal threats, resisting a peace officer, and corporal injury to a person with whom he had a dating relationship.
At 11:26 p.m. on Feb. 16, prison staff conducting an inmate count in the Facility A housing unit saw Power punching his cellmate, Kevin Mansfield, 37, in the face and head, Lt. Brian Parriott of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said.
Mansfield was face down on the floor and appeared to be unconscious, according to a Corrections Department press release.
The officers opened a food port on the outside of the sheet metal door to the cell, Parriott said, and ordered Power to stop the assault, then sprayed pepper spray through the hole.
“When they felt it was safe enough for them to go in and actually restrain him” the correctional officers used batons and force to remove him from the cell and placed him in handcuffs, Parriott said.
After emergency medical responders arrived, Mansfield was pronounced dead at 11:49 p.m. Mansfield was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for second degree murder and second degree robbery after being transferred into CDCR custody by Riverside County, the press release stated.
Power, in a wheelchair, was taken to the prison medical clinic and later to an outside medical facility for treatment of swelling around his eye and an injured hand.
Power was then placed on “administrative segregation.”
While in administrative segregation, Power complained of being “decompensated mentally,” Parriott said.
On Feb. 18, Power was transferred to an “enhanced outpatient bed” at North Kern State Prison for further mental observation because Tehachapi could “no longer meet his needs,” Parriott said.
A report has been issued to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office recommending prosecution on the charge of murder, Parriott said, but there may be “some time” before the case is filed.
Power will also likely face internal discipline with CDCR, and faces up to one year added to his sentence plus any additional sentencing from the murder charge, he said.
Power had the opportunity to postpone his internal prison hearing pending the conclusion of his court case, Parriott said.
No staff members were injured in the incident, he added, and Kern County Sheriff’s Office deputies were assisting in the investigation.
CCi houses more than 3,000 inmates ranging from minimum to high security and opened in 1932, the press release said.
Prior to his incarceration, Power faced a number of charges in Tuolumne County stemming from a Jan. 18, 2016, incident where he was accused of forcing his way into a Groveland residence and assaulting a woman and a 2-year-old child.
According to a Tuolumne County District Attorney’s Office news release, Power forced a friend to drive him to the home of his estranged wife by threatening him with a box cutter and when he arrived at the residence, Power assaulted, restrained and threatened the victim with the box cutter.
At the time of the incident, Power was on parole for a domestic violence conviction.
Power fled and was arrested on Jan. 26, 2017, on Highway 132 in the Greeley Hill area by a team of Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office deputies, U.S. Marshals and the Southwest Apprehensive Team.
A K9 was deployed and injured Power, who fled a vehicle stop with a utility knife before his arrest.
Power, who had two strikes at the time of his conviction, was expected to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence for the violent nature of the offense. His earliest parole date was 2043.