The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation on Tuesday released a statement indicating that former mixed martial arts fighter and kickboxer Joe Son, 40, is a suspect in the alleged murder of a 50-year-old inmate at the Wasco State Prison-Reception Center (WSP-RC).
The unnamed inmate, whose identity is being withheld until the notification of his next of kin, was found dead in his cell at about 5:50 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 10.
Son is serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for the 1990 gang rape of a woman who had been out walking her dog on Christmas Eve. He was convicted of the charge in August of this year when DNA evidence Son had admitted in another case was found to match a sample taken from the rape victim. He was convicted on Aug. 25 on one count of felony torture.
The WSP-RC facility is a way station that provides short-term housing while new inmates are classified and evaluated to determine their appropriate institutional placement.
Born in South Korea, Son fought one time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, against Keith Hackney at UFC 4. He went on to lose three more mixed martial arts bouts, two for the Pride organization. He also had one kickboxing bout promoted by K-1. He never won a single bout.