Convicted Murderer Stabs Child Molester in Jail
A bizarre story out of the Sacramento County jail where a convicted child molester is savagely attacked by a convicted murderer.

55-year-old Robert Precobb was stabbed in the face and neck as many as ten times last Friday night by convicted murderer Ruben Rivera.

It's not known if Precobb was returning from the shower or recreation time, but the jail tells FOX40 Rivera somehow opened his locked cell to spring on the attacked.

"We have an instrument that we believe he used to manipulate his lock," it's actually two items; but Sergeant Tim Curran would not be more specific. "What did he attack him with?" asked FOX40's John Lobertini, "An instrument that he had manufactured inside the jail. If he was stabbed I guess it was sharp? A stabbing instrument of some type, yes" says Sgt. Curran.

30-year-old Rivera is a hardcore gang member who was recently convicted of murdering his girlfriend in the parking lot of a cell phone call center in January of 2007. One law enforcement source believes Rivera was trying to enhance his trough guy image as he heads to state prison.

Precobb is a convicted sex offender.

"That's absolutely why they're kept away from other inmates because they are a target," Jennifer Mouzis, a former prosecutor and now a defense attorney, says it's part of a long standing inmate code. "That's absolutely why they're kept from other inmates because they are a target. They are uncomfortable being in the general prison population; and the general population is uncomfortable being with them," Mouzis says.

There's no evidence Rivera taunted Precobb before, during or after the attack. Precobb was arrested near the K street mall back in March after trying to arrange sex with a 14-year-old. He had been free just 18 days after serving 15 years of a 20 year prison sentence for a prior conviction. This would be Precobb's fourth conviction.

"We don't believe someone inadvertently allowed these two people out in the day room at the same time," Sgt. Curran says. Both men are kept on what's called a SPERATION FLOOR where there's normally no face to face contact with other inmates. Jail officials say Rivera is the act of cunning criminal who figured out how to dupe the system. "There are attacks in the jail. But one that was this well planned are unusual," says a visibly surprised Sgt. Curran.

Precobb is still at the UC Davis Medical Center recovering from his injuries; but FOX40 has been told he is expected to survive. Convicted murderer Rivera will soon be serving a prison sentence of 50-years to life.

The Sacramento County Jail says Rivera's savvy cell break will now be used as a training tool.