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Condemned Inmates Scott Erskine and Manuel Alvarez Die
By California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Published: 07/06/2020

SAN QUENTIN – Scott Thomas Erskine, 57, who had been on California’s death row since 2004, and Manuel Machado Alvarez, 59, who had been on death row since 1989, both died on July 3, 2020, at outside hospitals from what appear to be complications related to COVID-19.

On March 27, 1993, 13-year-old Charles (Charlie) Keever and 9-year-old Jonathon Sellers rode their bicycles to the Otay Riverbed area in San Diego. Their bodies were found two days later. DNA samples from the victims matched Erskine, who had been in state prison since May 2, 1994, serving a 70-year term from San Diego County for several consecutive and concurrent sentences of oral copulation with force as well as sentences for penetration with a foreign object, rape and possession of a firearm by an ex-felon. Erskine was sentenced to death in San Diego County on Sept. 1, 2004, for the first-degree murders of the two boys and was admitted onto death row on Dec. 27, 2004.

In a four-day period in May 1987 in Sacramento, Alvarez raped a 38-year-old woman, fled in a stolen vehicle, fatally wounded a 35-year-old man while trying to rob him, and knocked a 78-year-old woman unconscious and stole her car. He fled from California and was arrested 12 days later in Mississippi. Alvarez was sentenced to death in Sacramento County on Sept. 14, 1989, for first-degree murder, vehicle theft, forcible rape and first-degree robbery. He was admitted onto California’s death row on Sept. 20, 1989.

There are currently 722 people on California’s death row. More information about capital punishment in California can be found here: https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/capital-punishment/


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