Santa Rita death investigated as possible homicide

A Santa Rita death on Monday morning is being investigated as a possible homicide, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Office.

Sgt. Ray Kelly confirmed that deputies found an unresponsive man lying on the floor in the Behavioral Health Unit about midnight and his cellmate standing over him, which was first reported by the East Bay Times. 

Deputies suspected an assault of some kind had occurred, Kelly told the newspaper. The cellmate under suspicion was moved to another cell. Kelly did not specify if a weapon was used or how the man died. 

Neither man was identified. 

Authorities said the man who died had been at the jail since September and was being held on robbery and burglary charges.

His cellmate has been at the jail since October on firearms and other weapons charges.

This is the fifth death at Santa Rita this year, and the 54th since 2014, according to a review of autopsies by KTVU. 

Last month, Marlon Reyes, 47, died by suicide while being held in the quarantine intake unit.