Justice News

Department of Justice
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Federal Prisoner Charged in California for Murder of Cellmate

Government Files Notice of Intent to Seek Death Penalty

WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today charging Samuel Stone, 32, with first degree murder and murder by a federal prisoner serving a life sentence, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner for the Eastern District of California.

The indictment alleges that on July 30, 2003, Stone murdered his cellmate, Michael Anita, while the two were being housed in the Special Housing Unit at U.S. Penitentiary Atwater. At the time of the murder, Stone was serving a life sentence for two separate homicides that took place in 1999.


The maximum statutory penalties are life in prison or death. The government has filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in this case.


The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.


This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elana S. Landau for the Eastern District of California and Trial Attorney Jacabed Rodriguez-Coss of the Criminal Division’s Capital Case Unit.

Press Release Number: 
Updated September 15, 2014