Jamie 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.”
Prosecutors confirmed that Osuna’s cellmate, Luis Romero, was decapitated and suffered other dismemberment. His body was found March 9 in the cell he shared with Osuna at Corcoran State Prison.
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.”
Osuna is already serving a sentence of life without parole for the murder of Yvette Pena, a woman he called an acquaintance, in 2011. Pena’s murder was also committed with torture, according to investigators.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation is conducting an internal investigation, spokeswoman Terry Thornton said
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