Cellmate suspected in child molester’s death

A man serving a life sentence for child molestation was killed in his cell in Salinas Valley State Prison near Soledad on Monday, according to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Pedro Aguilar, 45, was found dead at 9:05 a.m. by prison staff conducting security checks. His cellmate, 59-year-old Jerald Nelson, is suspected of killing Aguilar, state corrections officials said.

Aguilar was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for lewd and lascivious acts on a child under 14 years old in Ventura County.

He was admitted to the prison in 2013.

Nelson is serving a life sentence for a first-degree murder conviction in Imperial County. He has been housed in the prison since 1983, according to state corrections officials.

Prison officials are investigating the homicide along with the Monterey County coroner’s office and district attorney’s office.