Jaime Osuna’s mother: Why was my son given a cellmate?

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — It’s been over two months since an inmate was found beheaded and mutilated in his cell in a prison north of Bakersfield. His cell mate was the only suspect. He is also a notorious Kern killer. The immediate questions that formed: How did this happen? How was Jaime Osuna able to once again commit a heinous crime?

Osuna’s own loved ones say he should have never had a cellmate. They say prison officials knew that, which is why he never before had a cellmate, until he was locked into a cell with Luis Romero, the man he decapitated. Osuna’s own family is now looking for answers from CDCR as to why after many years of being forbidden contact with anyone, they gave Osuna a cellmate.

If you look back on the last eight years of Jaime Osuna’s life, his mother says he spent it in solitude.

She says since he was arrested in 2011 for the murder of Yvette Pena, a woman he described as an acquaintance, he’s been housed as a single cell. She said not allowed to have contact visits with anyone, even her. All visits had to take place through glass.

His mother says once he was sent to prison in 2017, he was in a cell alone 23 hours a day with one hour of recreation — also alone. We’ve been asking for months why Osuna was put in a cell with Luis Romero and if Osuna ever had another cellmate prior to Romero?

Additionally we want to know how long Romero was in the cell with Osuna before he was murdered?And how long was Osuna left unattended before Romero’s mutilated body was discovered? We were given the same answer today as we were then: “That information is exempt from public disclosure.”

Documents obtained by 17 News show six separate incidents where Osuna was disciplined by Lerdo Jail officials before he was sent to prison. The documents say he was housed alone and considered “a high risk inmate.” They show he was forbidden from having any contact with other inmates. Reports also show Osuna was caught having a makeshift weapon multiple times while at Kern’s Lerdo facility, awaiting to stand trial for the murder of Yvette Pena.

And just last September, CDCR guards caught Osuna with a “hatchet like weapon in prison.” As his mother puts it, Osuna has always been getting into trouble behind bars. She can’t make sense of why CDCR would suddenly give him an inmate. Neither can his former attorney Richard Terry, who says he provided CDCR with every piece of paperwork on Osuna that should’ve shown he needed to be housed alone. Terry also believes he should’ve been sent to a psychiatric hospital, not a prison.  

Osuna is scheduled to be back in court next month for the murder of his cellmate that prosecutors call especially heinous, atrocious, cruel, manifesting exceptional depravity. At the time of Romero’s killing, Osuna already was serving a life sentence for murder.

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