Inmate stabbed in cell at county jail

Sun-Star staffMarch 25, 2013 

A 22-year-old inmate was flown to the hospital Sunday afternoon after being stabbed at the Merced County Main Jail, the sheriff's department reported.

The inmate has been identified as Miguel Elizarraraz of Atwater, according to deputy Delray Shelton, sheriff's spokesman.

Elizarraraz is expected to survive. Sheriff's officials haven't said whether they've identified who stabbed Elizarraraz, and the motive remains under investigation.

The incident was reported shortly after 2 p.m. after correctional officer John Wybright was conducting an area check in the jail and heard someone yell "man down," along with the sounds of inmates flushing toilets and running water.

Wybright went to the cell, which held eight gang members, and found the victim bleeding with multiple stab wounds. The inmate was taken to Doctors Medical Center in Modesto, where he remains in stable condition.

Shelton said Elizarraraz is a documented gang member.

Merced police arrested Elizarraraz and two other people as suspects in the October 2010 death of 26-year-old Derrick Bateman in his east Merced apartment.

Bateman was shot to death inside his second-floor unit at the Ridgeview Meadows apartment complex at Childs and Parsons avenues, according to Merced police.

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