Sergeant Howell Burchfield

Sergeant Howell Burchfield

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California

End of Watch Saturday, June 8, 1985

Howell Burchfield

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.


  • Age 37
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Weapon Edged weapon; Shank
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

View all 37 Reflections

When I last spoke with Officer Burchfield he was a fellow Correctional Officer at San Quentin ! I believe he was murdered due to a lack of protective gun rail coverage ! This problem is in my opinion an epidemic today, throughout our entire Penitentiary System ! Officer Richard A Ochoa who also fell to the Shank in San Quentin 9 years before Officer Burchfield's homicide ! Richard also died in a DEAD SPOT ( area without protective gun coverage ) ! It is my understanding that Howard was murdered on the second tier of C section ? He should of had " SOME " protective gun rail coverage from the C Section unit gun men ? Where exactly was this Unit G Man in question ??? If he was covering Howard while he was shacking down a cell in C section ? This gun Man could have popped a cap down into the cell probably saving the life of Officer Burchfield ?

Former San Quentin Correctional Officer

August 3, 2017

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