A MAN already serving life for murder is accused of torturing and cutting his cellmate’s head off.
Jaime Osuna, 31, whose face is heavily tattooed, was already serving time in California’s Corcoran State Prison for a previous murder but is said to have removed several body parts from Luis Romero after sadistically torturing him.
Assistant Kings County District Attorney Phil Esbenshade said Osuna was accused of cutting Romero last month with a sharp metal object wrapped in string and attached to a handle.
According to local media reports he is said to have cut off a finger and part of a lung before removing an eye and then cutting Romero’s head off.
Esbenshade said in an email that it was thought the victim, 44, was “conscious during at least a portion of the time.”
He added: “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.
This is the most gruesome case that I have seen in terms of heinousness in the slaying
Assistant Kings County District Attorney Phil Esbenshade
Osuna pleaded not guilty when he appeared in court last Thursday.
The charges include a murder that “was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity” which could see Osuna get the death penalty in California.
Osuna also is charged with torture, mayhem and weapons possession.
The torture charge alleges he behaved “with the intent to cause cruel and extreme pain and suffering for the purpose of revenge, extortion, persuasion and for a sadistic purpose.”
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Prison guards found Romero dead in his cell at around 7.30am on March 9 at the prison which holds more than 3,300 inmates, 220 miles south of Sacramento.
An autopsy report on Romero’s body published on Friday said he had bled to death from “multiple sharp force trauma injuries” and his body had been mutilated.
Osuna was sentenced to life without parole in 2017 after he pleaded guilty to the killing of Yvette Pena, 37, in a motel in 2011.
Prosecutor Nicholas Lackie at the time called her murder “truly horrific”, but Osuna refused to show remorse.
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Danielle Gonzales, Pena’s younger sister, said Osuna smiled regularly during a dozen court appearances before he was sentenced.
Romero was also serving life for murder but had the possibility of parole in the future.
Corcoran State Prison once housed the notorious Charles Manson.
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