February 12. 2014
An inmate of the Sacramento County Main Jail who died at a hospital Tuesday morning has been identified as a serial killer, officials said.
Wilbur Jennings was 73 years old. His death doesn’t appear suspicious in nature, according to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Jennings was convicted and sentenced to death in the 1980s for a long list of crimes, including rape, robbery and murder.
His four female victims were from the Fresno area. Jennings spent much of his time at San Quentin State Prison on death row.
He appealed the death penalty in 1991.
In 2005, Jennings was transferred to Sacramento County to stand trial on the 1981 rape and murder of Debra Chandler.
At the time of his death, the case still had not had a preliminary hearing, the Sacramento district attorney indicated, because it involved evidence from the Fresno case that was tied up on appeals in the federal court.
Then in 2008, DNA evidence tied Jennings to yet another rape and murder of a fifth Fresno woman killed in 1983.
Despite the death penalty and the new pending murder cases against Jennings, it was his terminal illness that killed him.
The Sheriff’s Department will conduct a thorough inmate-death investigation in accordance with the department procedures and state laws.
Jennings has a long medical history. He died about 10:30 a.m. Monday.