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Mother of Decapitated Prisoner Sues California Prison Officials for Housing Her Son with Prisoner Who Tried to Murder Previous Cellmate

CDCR prisoner Luis Romero was transferred from another prison to Corcoran, which has a lengthy history of violence. According to a court document, instead of following the usual procedure of having a committee of prison administrators find appropriate housing for Romero, taking into consideration whether a potential cellmate was an appropriate fit, and having both prisoners sign forms agreeing to be housed with one another, they simply placed him in a cell with Jamie Osuna, a prisoner with a lengthy history of extreme violence.

While in jail, Osuna had attempted to murder his cellmate. His continuing violent misconduct had resulted in his being housed without a cellmate since his arrival at the CDCR seven years earlier. Further, the CDCR allegedly had documentation provided by Osuna’s own lawyers and medical team “warning CDCR of his propensity for extreme violence, insatiable desire to kill, and need to be held in a psychiatric ward, not in a prison with other inmates.” Osuna was serving a no-parole sentence for the torture-murder of a woman. He also was known to collect “trophies” of his violent acts.

That night, guards allegedly failed to perform safety checks on Osuna’s cell even when a sheet was stretched across the bars, blocking their view.

During the night, Osuna tortured and decapitated Romero. He was found in the blood-covered cell wearing a necklace of Romero’s body parts. Romero’s body showed signs of extreme torture, all of which was done with a weapon Osuna made from a small razor blade and string.

With the assistance of Encino attorney Justin Sterling and Los Angeles attorney Erin Darling, Romero’s mother filed a federal civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of Romero’s federal civil rights as well as pendent state torts. The matter is pending before the court. See: Solares v. Diaz, USDC (E.D. Cal.), Case No. l:20-CV-00158. 


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Related legal case

Solares v. Diaz