Inmate once raped by prison guard found dead in cell
• In 2008, Chavez was again charged with assault against a police officer and initially pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, according to court records. The case was eventually dismissed.
• In 2009, she was sentenced to one to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to disarm a peace officer and one year in a separate case of attempted assault by a prisoner.
Francene Chavez said her sister suffered from mental illness, which got worse after she was raped in prison. She admitted her sister would often lash out at corrections officers.
Irene Chavez claimed her daughter was on suicide watch and was supposed to be checked on by corrections officers every 15 minutes. She also claimed her daughter had a tumor in her head that she believes was caused by the abuse she endured from officials.
"They killed her. I kept warning people they're retaliating against her. They killed her," Chavez said in tears.
She said the inmate who wrote to her claimed her daughter was often handcuffed, shackled and "hog tied," and would have a pillow case put over her head. She claimed her daughter would often talk about suicide.
"No human being should be put through what your daughter is going through," Chavez said the inmate wrote in her letter.
The Department of Corrections released a brief statement Friday.
"The department offers its condolences to the family and to our own staff who knew and worked with her. The department takes submitted reports and concerns seriously. If there are specific reports that would enable the department to further investigate any claims being made, the agency certainly would do that here as it routinely does in any case. Corrections will continue to fully cooperate with Unified police as they conduct their investigation. Again, the department would emphasize its condolences to the family and to staff dealing with this difficult situation."
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