Habitual DUI offender killed in prison

Edward Schaefer stabbed by Frank Souza at San Quentin Prison. He died from his wounds.

July 27, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Novato man convicted of killing a 9-year-old girl when he was riding his motorcycle last year was murdered Monday by an inmate at San Quentin Prison.

Edward Schaefer received a life sentence two weeks ago for killing Melody Osheroff. He was being processed at the prison when California Corrections officials say another convicted killer, Frank Souza, stabbed him half a dozen times with a metal knife-like object.

San Quentin Prison spokesperson Lt. Sam Robinson told ABC7 News that the stabbing occurred in a recreation yard for prisoners convicted of serious felonies. At the time, Robinson says there were about 200 inmates in the yard, guarded by a lone Yard Gunner standing above the area.

"That yard gunner wasn't able to pick up anything until he actually saw Mr. Sousa attack Mr. Schaefer from behind," Robinson said.

Robinson says the gunner fired rubber bullets to control the crowd as other guards rushed in to assist. There were no other incidents.

Schaefer was taken to Marin General Hospital where he died from his wounds.

His mother, Sheri Dunne, told ABC7 News by phone that while Schaefer was being held at the Marin County Jail, deputies "beat up my son during a fight in the jail and told him he was a baby killer and they would let everyone know in prison."

The Marin County Sheriff's office has not returned calls for comment.

Schaeffer was sentenced to prison for 24 years to life in July for a May 2009 drunk driving incident in which he killed Melody and maimed her father, Aaron Osheroff, when he roared into a crosswalk in Noveato on his motorcycle and slammed into his victims at an estimated 65 mph. Doctors had to amputate Aaron Osheroff's leg.

Schaefer had nine DUI convictions since he was 17 years old.

"I don't condone what happened," Osheroff told ABC7 News. "But there are times when it's easier to die, to just slip away, and I'm not saying it was easy to get stabbed to death, but in the end, it probably would have been more difficult to spend his life in prison. That's what I wanted him to do... die in prison as an old man."

Prison authorities are investigating the stabbing death. At this time, Robinson says no other inmate has been implicated in Schaefer's murder.

This was the first muder at San Quentin in 13 years.


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