SLO man murdered in Wasco Prison cell
October 11, 2011
A 50-year-old San Luis Obispo man serving time in Wasco State Prison for a parole violation was found dead Tuesday, and his cellmate, former actor Joseph Son, is charged with murder.
The victim has not yet been identified, but authorities said he arrived at the prison June 23.
Son, 40, had a small but visible part in the first “Austin Powers” movie, wearing a bowler hat playing one of Dr. Evil’s henchmen, in 1997. He also appeared in a number of martial arts films during the 1990s. He currently is serving a life sentence for the 1990 gang rape of a Southern California woman, and has been at the prison for less than a month, prison officials said.
Son was linked to the two-decade-old crime by DNA after he was arrested for felony vandalism and parole violation. The 19-year-old Huntington Beach victim was raped, sodomized, and beaten with a handgun while Son and a co-defendant, Santiago Lopez Gaitlan, threatened her with death. She was released, naked and bound with her own clothing.
The San Luis Obispo man’s cause of death wasn’t immediately revealed though it has been labeled a murder. Officials also said he was a sex offender who failed to register properly.