Guards didn’t notice Jamie Osuna’s cellmate had been decapitated: report

Crime Watch

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGET) — Prison guards allegedly falsified reports the day a man was found decapitated in the cell he shared with convicted murderer Jamie Osuna, according to a report from the Office of the Inspector General.

Two officers at Corcoran State Prison allegedly falsely reported they saw Luis Romero alive during their rounds at a time when Romero was already dead, according to a report slamming the investigation conducted by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Romero, 44, was beheaded and stabbed in the eye, and other parts of his body were removed in the March 9 slaying. Osuna wore parts of his body as a necklace and admitted to grisly slaying.

“A third officer and a fourth officer allegedly did not report that they had each observed the first two officers fail to properly conduct the counts,” according to the report. “The first officer also allegedly lied
during his Office of Internal Affairs’ interview.”

The Office of the Inspector General report says the special agent who conducted the investigation failed to interview several key witnesses and didn’t look into whether officers appropriately placed Osuna and Romero together. Osuna had previously told media nothing give him more pleasure than killing.

A lawsuit filed by Romero’s family say the prison ignored protocol requiring a committee to evaluate two inmates being celled together. It also lists the facility’s failure to conduct safety checks. 

A CDCR conference on the investigation’s findings was delayed, according to the report, as were disciplinary actions against the officers, who “entered into settlement agreements that reduced the penalties without identifying any new evidence, flaws, or risks that would have justified the reductions.”

In response, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Vicky Waters on Thursday released the following statement:

“Due to the extraordinary nature and complexity of this case, the department committed to ensuring a thorough and complete investigation from the very beginning. We respectfully disagree with the OIG’s assessment into this case, as based on our investigation and findings, all of the disciplinary actions in this case were served within mandated statutory timeframes.”

Osuna is currently held at a state hospital where efforts are being made to restore him to competency. Criminal proceedings against him are currently suspended.

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

Romero was serving life without parole after a 1992 murder conviction in Los Angeles County.

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