California killer serving two life sentences accused of torturing and beheading cellmate

This May 24, 2017, photo released by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Jaime Osuna. Osuna, a convicted killer has been accused of beheading Luis Romero, another in what authorities call a sadistic torture slaying at a California state prison. The Kings County district attorney charged 31-year-old Jaime Osuna with murder in last month's death of Romero, his Corcoran State Prison cellmate. A prosecutor said Friday, April 26, 2019, that Osuna removed an eye, a finger, and a portion of the victim's lung. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

By DON THOMPSON,  Associated Press  SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) 04/26 — One convicted killer has been accused of beheading another in what authorities call an exceptionally sadistic torture slaying at a California prison.

Corcoran State Prison inmate Jaime Osuna removed several body parts from his cellmate, Luis Romero, Assistant Kings County District Attorney Phil Esbenshade said Friday. Charges accuse Osuna, 31, of repeatedly cutting Romero last month using what the prosecutor called a sharp metal object wrapped in string and attached to a handle.

It’s not clear how much happened while Romero, 44, was still alive or whether anyone heard the overnight assault, but “we do believe that the victim was conscious during at least a portion of the time,” Esbenshade said in an email. “This is the most gruesome case that I have seen in terms of heinousness in the slaying.”

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is conducting an internal investigation, spokeswoman Terry Thornton said. Officials wouldn’t provide more details on how prisoners are overseen overnight.

Osuna pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges at his first court appearance Thursday. They include several special circumstances that could bring the death penalty, including that the slaying “was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity.”

Defense attorney Melina Benninghoff was appointed to represent him but was home sick Friday and did not respond to telephone and email requests to comment on his behalf.

Osuna also is charged with torture, mayhem and weapons possession. The torture charge alleges that he acted “with the intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose.”

The state corrections department said guards found Romero dead in his cell about 7:30 a.m. March 9 at the prison, which houses more than 3,300 inmates about 220 miles (354 kilometers) south of Sacramento.

Romero bled to death from “multiple sharp force trauma injuries,” and his body was mutilated, according to an autopsy report released Friday.

Osuna was sentenced to life without parole after pleading guilty in 2017 to killing Yvette Pena, 37, at a Bakersfield motel in 2011, according to media reports at the time.

Romero also was serving a life term for a Los Angeles County slaying, but with the possibility of parole.

Osuna has been transferred to a Stockton prison for inmates needing medical or mental health care, though officials wouldn’t say why, citing privacy laws.

https://www.apnews.com/694230bcd84f43cabe913b7a04cccd8c

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Posted in: Crime & Criminals, Death Penalty, Deaths, Homicide, Murder/Attempted Murder, Prisons, Victims of Crime

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

18 + 5 =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.