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Prison guards in California are under fire after reporting that two men sharing a cell at Corcoran State Prison were alive and well after conducting their rounds - even though one had beheaded the other.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, 31 year-old self-styled Satanist Jaime Osuna had decapitated and dissected the body of cellmate Luis Romero, 44. Osuna had used a makeshift knife to commit the killing at some point before the morning of March 9, 2019.
However, prison guards doing the rounds after it had noted that both of the cell mates were still alive, according to two new reports. It was only investigated after Osuna was seen wearing a necklace made of Romero's body parts.
The reports have been commissioned by the inspector general's office and are a continuation of the investigations into one of the most grizzly killings within a California prison in recent history.
Osuna had a history of attacking cell mates.
He's serving a life sentence for the killing and torture of Yvette Pena, 37, at a Bakersfield motel in 2011 and, during his 2017 trial he sported face tattoos and behaved intimidatingly, mocking the victim's family and bragging to a television news reporter of his love of torturing people.
Since then, he has spent time in a Kern County detention facility, where he was found with hatchets and other weapons and deemed a "high-risk, staff assaultive" threat to guards, according to records in an ongoing lawsuit by Romero's family over the incident.
Apparently in one instance at Kern County, Osuna found his way into another inmate's cell, where he stabbed and slashed his face, resulting in 67 stitches.
The inmate declined to be photographed for his injuries stating that he didn't want to risk Osuna getting copies of the photos and adding them to his collection of "trophies".
The latest reports have been disputed by The Department of Corrections. They said in a statement it had conducted a 'thorough and complete investigation from the very beginning.'
However, Justin Sterling, the attorney for Romero's family, said that they outline the department's 'veil of secrecy' that obscures officer misconduct.
"The idea that my client had to sue in order to get basic questions answered about her son's death is disheartening," Sterling said.
Romero had spent 27 years in prison and was put in a cell with Osuna after arriving from Mule Creek State Prison. He was convicted of second-degree murder after fatally shooting a woman in Compton when he was a teenager, but was nearing parole eligibility at the time of his death.
Sterling says that guards were meant to check the cell every so often and the nature of the torture and ultimate killing would've taken hours to commit.
If the guards had been doing their required checks, Sterling is arguing that Romero would be alive today.
"The department's handling of the case was poor," the inspector general's office said in the report.
"In the OIG's opinion, the special agent continually resisted the recommendations of the department attorney regarding conducting interviews and obtaining evidence".
Osuna has since been transferred to Salinas Valley State Prison's psychiatric inpatient program. He has been diagnosed with unspecified schizophrenia spectrum, antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder.
A judge has also ruled that Osuna is not competent to stand trial for Romero's death.
A spokesperson for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation told LADbible: "Due to the extraordinary nature and complexity of this case, the department committed to ensuring a thorough and complete investigation from the very beginning.
"We respectfully disagree with the OIG's assessment into this case, as based on our investigation and findings, all of the disciplinary actions in this case were served within mandated statutory timeframes."
Featured Image Credit: California Department of Corrections
Topics: US News
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