Another Suicide at San Quentin

Tuesday, Aug 31, 2010  |  Updated 3:30 PM PDT
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Another Suicide at San Quentin

San Quentin will be on the market: Report

A Santa Rosa man who was convicted of brutally stabbing his girlfriend and hiding her body in a toy box in their apartment died Friday evening after a suicide attempt at San Quentin State Prison on Aug. 23.

Honorio Pantaleon, 33, died at 5:45 p.m. Friday at a Bay Area hospital, San Quentin State Prison spokesman Lt. Sam Robinson said.

He was kept on life support until his organs could be donated, Robinson said. 

It is the second suicide at San Quentin this past weekend. A death row  inmate committed suicide Saturday.  George Smithey, 70, was found hanging in his cell.

Pantaleon's body was discovered by correctional officers during a security check at about 1:25 p.m., Aug. 23, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton said.

He was found hanging by a sheet tied to a locker in his cell on the third tier of the prison's reception center, Thornton said. He had also cut his neck.

Pantaleon arrived at the prison in March and was being kept alone in a cell. He was still being processed to determine where he would spend his sentence, Thornton said.

He was sentenced in Sonoma County Superior Court in February to life in prison without parole for first-degree murder with the infliction of torture on 25-year-old Patricia Barrales on May 10, 2008.

Testimony at his trial indicated he had stabbed the mother of his two children 68 times in their Montecito Avenue apartment in Santa Rosa and hidden her body in a 30-gallon plastic container used as a toy box. The couple's two young sons were at the apartment at the time.

The apartment manager and police went to the apartment on May 11 on a welfare check but did not find the body.

Her body was discovered later that day after the couple's 4-year-old son told family members his mother was "locked in a closet."

Pantaleon also was convicted of trying to shoot Barrales' mother, Isabel Barrales, with a rifle at her Ukiah home on May 12. He was arrested by the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office that day. Pantaleon was sentenced to a consecutive life prison term on that offense.

Deputy Public Defender Jeff Mitchell argued at the trial that his client suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was insane at the time of the crimes.

Mitchell said Pantaleon believed the Barraleses wanted to kill him, take custody of his two young sons and put snakes inside his body.

After he was sentenced, Pantaleon's family members said they noticed his mental health problems began a year before the murder. They said he needed treatment in prison.

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