Sergeant Howell Burchfield was stabbed to death when he was attacked by an inmate at the San Quentin State Prison's Carson Unit.
He was stabbed in the heart causing him to bleed to death. All three inmates involved in the attack were convicted of his murder. The inmate who stabbed him and the inmate who ordered the stabbing were sentenced to life with no possibility of parole. The inmate who made and provided the shank was sentenced to death.
Sergeant Burchfield had been employed with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 12 years, and is survived by his wife and five children.