Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Convicted Child Molester Strangled to Death by Cell Mate; Family Sues State

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 7:37 AM

click to enlarge No vacancy
  • No vacancy

The daughter of Jonathan Guy Alexander is suing the state of California, blaming a Tracy prison for the murder of her father -- who had been convicted of sexually molesting her as a child.

Amber Dawn Alexander claims correctional officers neglected to provide her dad with medical care, and that prison conditions and overcrowding contributed to his murder.

Last June, Alexander was strangled to death by his cellmate, John Joseph Lydon who was already serving extra time for killing his former cellmate.

Both Alexander and Lydon were locked in the sensitive needs unit of the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy; however Alexander had been housed alone up until the day of his murder.

On June 3, 2010, the prison alarm sounded, requesting medical assistance. A correctional officer found Alexander in his cell on the bottom bunk with his hands bound behind his back with a torn sheet. Blood was dripping from his nose and mouth.

Lydon said "I'll just admit I killed him," according to the lawsuit. He was later convicted of murdering Alexander.

Now, Alexander's family wants the state to pay up for their loss. His daughter claims, in the suit filed on Tuesday, that medical care was not provided to her father in a timely manner, as required by state law. There were no attempts to check for a pulse or try CPR on Alexander.

She also claims that the two inmates should have been housed alone, considering Lydon had already been convicted of killing his previous cellmate, who was also a convicted child molester.

The two inmates were likely housed together because the prison was at three times its capacity; overcrowding leads to violence among inmates and homicides, the claim states.

"The conditions resulting from overcrowding at DVI, contributed to, at least in part, the death of their father," according to the lawsuit.

Follow us on Twitter at @SFWeekly and @TheSnitchSF 

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"