California killer accused of beheading, torturing 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)
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."