Correctional officers at California's Corcoran State Prison claim they didn't see 31-year-old Jaime Osuna torture and behead his cellmate. A lawsuit stemming from the March 2019 incident claims the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation conducted a "shoddy investigation" and delayed any discipline for the guards involved.
The victim, Luis Romero, was decapitated and "dissected" by Osuna, the accused. According to the Associated Press, Osuna allegedly used a makeshift knife to carve out Romero's eye, finger and part of his lung. A lawsuit by Romero's family claims the guards on duty didn't complete a proper investigation due to a bedsheet covering the bars and the bloody scene behind them. Both guards on duty would mark both men present and alive in reporting their rounds.
Osuna is being called a "satanist" by several reports and was serving a life sentence for the torture and slaying of Yvette Pena in Bakersfield, California. His face is covered in tattoos and gained notoriety for his appearance during his 2017 trial.
According to the AP, Romero had already spent 27 years behind bars before ending up in Osuna's cell, raising questions around how it happened given Osuna's history of attacking cellmates. When discovered, Romero's head had been sliced open to form a ghastly smile, while Osuna was wearing a necklace made of the body parts he had removed from the deceased.
"We do believe that the victim was conscious during at least a portion of the time," Assistant D.A. Phil Esbenshade said. And wildly, Osuna was found unfit to stand trial for Romero's slaying, with the lifer transferred to Salina Valley State Prison's psych program. He's been diagnosed with several mental disorders, including schizophrenia, antisocial personality disorder and borderline personality disorder, according to the AP.
As for Romero, he was close to parole eligibility for his conviction for second-degree murder. He had been connected to gang members as a teen and shot a woman fatally in Compton, California back in the '90s. Romero's family is suing over the death and the actions of those on duty during the slaying. Corrections officials have maintained that a "thorough and complete investigation from the very beginning."