June 21 2002

Two San Diego Tehachapi Prisoners Stabbed Prison Guard

By La Prensa Staff writer

Two inmates at the Tehachapi State Prison seriously stabbed Custody Officer Arthur Dessenberger on May 28, sending the 29 year-old guard to a Bakersfield hospital, which is 40 miles away from the town of Tehachapi. The stabbing occurred in an open area in one of the prisons maximum-security sections where inmates congregate during the day.

According to officials at the California Correctional Institution, inmates Thasiti Wilson and Tony Hicks, both 22 and from San Diego, attacked officer Dessenberger, just after 2pm, with home made weapons. Dessenberger was stabbed several times in the chest. Both men were serving time for first-degree murder. Hicks had 15 years to serve before he would become eligible for parole. Wilson was serving a life sentence.

Lt. Brian Haws, Public Information officer for the prison stated: “Thasiti Wilson and Tony Hicks approached Custody Officer Blanchard about not getting a shower. When Officer Dessenberger approached the area, Hicks turned on him and begin to stab him. Wilson then turned and joined in the assault of Dessenbeger. Blanchard quickly broke out his pepper spray and was able to stop the assault.”

Arthur Dessenberger, who has worked with the CCI (California Correctional Institution) since 1997, suffered multiple stab wounds and was immediately transported to the Kern County Medical Center. According to sources within the prison, Dessenberger was saved from being outright killed when the weapon was deflected from his heart by a book he carried in his shirt pocket next to his heart.

Hicks is a 22-year-old male from San Diego County serving a sentence for first-degree murder. His earliest possible release date would have been in Jan. 2, 2017. Wilson is also a 22-year-old male from San Diego County serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole for first-degree murder; both are Blacks. In all probabilities Tony Hicks will now never see freedom and will spend the rest of his life, along with Thasiti Wilson, in prison.

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