Death row inmate convicted of killing 2 in Calif. found dead in cell

Micky Ray Cage's death is under investigation. He had been on death row for about 20 years

By Vanessa Arredondo
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — A 55-year-old man convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in Riverside County was found dead in his cell on death row on Wednesday, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Salinas Valley State Prison medical staff pronounced Micky Ray Cage dead at 7:30 a.m. after he had been found unresponsive in the cell. The cause of death was unknown pending investigation by the Monterey County Coroner's Office. He had been on death row for about 20 years.

In 2003, Cage was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon.

According to court documents, Cage's estranged wife, Claribel Burgos, had taken their children to Puerto Rico in 1998 to escape physical and emotional abuse. Cage, upset by the move, began to threaten her family, the documents state.

On Nov. 9 of that year, Cage hid a shotgun in a basket full of laundry and went to confront his mother-in-law Brunilda Montanez, 50, in her Moreno Valley home, according to court documents.

Montanez opened the door and was shot and killed, according to court reports. Cage then went upstairs and fatally shot his brother-in-law David Burgos, 16, in the chest, according to the documents.

Cage appealed the conviction, but it was upheld by the California Supreme Court in 2015. He had since remained in custody on death row, but was not executed due to Gov. Gavin Newsom's 2019 moratorium on executions.

There are currently 664 people on death row, according to data from the CDCR. Salinas Valley State Prison holds 2,892 minimum- and maximum-custody incarcerated males.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

©2023 Los Angeles Times.
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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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