Death Penalty Sought in San Quentin Prison Slaying

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Frank Souza is serving a life sentence at San Quentin for the murder of a homeless man in San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood. Marin County prosecutors will seek the death penalty for his alleged murder of a fellow inmate.

    A death in prison means death. Or prison.

    The Marin County District Attorney is seeking the death penalty against San Quentin inmate Frank Souza, who is accused of killing fellow prisoner Edward Schaefer last summer, according to the Marin Independent Journal. 

    Schaefer was serving a prison term for killing a nine-year-old Novato girl with his motorcycle as she and her father walked along a crosswalk in 2009. Souza, 31, is already serving a 60-years-to-life prison term for killing a homeless man in San Jose.

    Souza is eligible for the death penalty because of two special circumstances: his prior murder conviction and an enhancement for "lying in wait" to ambush Schaefer, whom he allegedly stabbed nine times in the San Quentin prison yard in July 2010.

    "All I got to say is, 9-year-old girl," Souza said after Schaefer's slaying, according to grand jury testimony by a prison Officer William Eberly, the newspaper reported.

    Souza's attorney called the decision by Marin DA Ed Berberian "irrational and fiscally irresponsible," the newspaper reported.

    Even if Souza does receive the death penalty, he'll likely be on death row for 20 to 25 years, said attorney Gerald Schwartzbach.