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California murder suspect dies after fight with fellow jail inmate

An Orange County jail inmate awaiting trial in the 2016 shooting death of a Tustin mixed martial arts gym owner has died from injuries sustained last month in a jailhouse fight, authorities reported Sunday, Jan. 20.

Kirk Price, 57, was hospitalized Dec. 27 after the fight at the Theo Lacy Facility in Orange, and died on Jan. 18, a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

The other inmate involved in the fight was not hospitalized after the incident, sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun said. The fight remained under investigation, she said Sunday.

Price, a Santa Ana resident, was arrested March 25, 2016 by Tustin Police investigating the death of  OC Boxing MMA Academy owner Fahness Lutalo, who died the day before Price’s arrest by a man who walked into the gym and shot him several times.

Price and Lutalo became friends when they met about 10 years before the shooting, friends said, but Price had become increasingly jealous of Lutalo’s success.

Price’s death will be investigated by both the Orange County District Attorney’s and the Sheriff’s Department, the release said.

Price was a three-striker who had pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Lutalo’s death and had denied an enhancement of being a felon in possession of a firearm. If convicted as charged, he could have faced up to 100 years to life in state prison.

The most recent hearing for his case was a Jan. 17 trial readiness conference. The records indicate a Jan. 21 trial date was vacated then, with a pre-trial hearing set for late August.

 


Source: East Bay California murder suspect dies after fight with fellow jail inmate

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