For the second time in three weeks, officials at a California state prison are investigating the death of an inmate as a homicide.

Larry Hite arrived at Kern Valley State Prison in October to serve a life sentence for a San Bernardino County murder.

State corrections officials say the 59-year-old was found dead early Tuesday in his cell at the prison in Delano, north of Bakersfield. They say his cellmate is considered a suspect.

In mid-November, 34-year-old Gustavo Vital was found dead in his cell at the same prison. He was serving more than 33 years for second-degree robbery from Los Angeles County.

Correctional Lt. Marshall Denning, a prison spokesman, says there is no reason to believe the two deaths are related.

The prison houses nearly 4,000 inmates.