Notorious killer Jaime Osuna refuses court-ordered psychiatric examination in cellmate’s death

California

HANFORD, Calif. (KGET) — Convicted murderer Jaime Osuna has refused to meet with two psychiatrists appointed by a Kings County Superior Court judge to determine if Osuna is competent to stand trial in his cellmate’s death.

Attorneys on Wednesday said the psychiatrists, while unable to interview Osuna, have reviewed a number of his medical records. They still need his most recent medical records from facilities in Stockton and Sacramento, where he was transported after the grisly slaying of 44-year-old Luis Romero at Corcoran State Prison in March 2019.

Melina S. Benninghoff, Osuna’s attorney, and prosecutor Louis Torch said they will subpoena the medical records from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and get them to the doctors.

The next hearing in the case is set for Aug. 3.

It’s expected by then the doctors will have reviewed all pertinent records and will provide an opinion on Osuna’s mental competency. If found competent, criminal proceedings will be reinstated. A preliminary hearing in the case that was scheduled for June has been canceled and another date won’t be set unless it’s determined Osuna is competent.

In determining competency,  a judge weighs evidence, including the testimony of doctors, and determines whether a defendant understands the criminal proceedings against them and can assist in the preparation of a defense.

While the defense attorney, prosecutor and judge appeared in person, Osuna attended the hearing by video conference from a room in Corcoran State Prison with three guards surrounding him. He wore a white prison jumpsuit, and a white face mask to protect against the coronavirus.

Quiet for most of the proceedings, Osuna interrupted as the judge and attorneys discussed when to set the next court date.

“I don’t want a preliminary hearing,” Osuna said. “I want to plead guilty to murder.”

The others ignored him and continued their discussion.

Osuna, 32, is charged with murder and other crimes in Romero’s slaying. Court documents say he decapitated Romero and inflicted numerous other injuries.

At the time of Romero’s death, Osuna was serving a sentence of life without parole for the torture and murder of Yvette Pena in Bakersfield in 2011.

For more on Osuna, listen to KGET’s award-winning podcast “The Man With A Thousand Faces.”

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