HANFORD, Calif. (KGET) — Convicted murderer Jamie Osuna refused to be transported from Sacramento State Prison to Kings County Superior Court for a hearing on his competency to stand trial in the grisly slaying of his cellmate.
Additionally, Melina Benninghoff, one of Osuna’s attorneys, said in court Monday she had been unable to make an earlier scheduled meeting with him to discuss the case and make a final determination on whether she will fight psychiatrists’ findings that he is competent.
Last year, criminal proceedings were suspended when a judge ruled Osuna incompetent to stand trial after hearing testimony from two psychiatrists. Osuna was transferred to a psychiatric inpatient program for treatment, where psychiatrists months later said he had been restored to competency — meaning he understood the charges against him and could assist legal counsel in preparing a defense.
Superior Court Judge Randy Edwards on Monday said a lengthy murder case is scheduled to be heard in his courtroom in May. He postponed the next hearing for Osuna to June 2 and issued a new order that he be transported.
Criminal charges against Osuna will be reinstated if Edwards — after reviewing psychiatrists’ reports and other evidence — rules he is competent.
Osuna, 34, was charged with murder and other crimes in the death of cellmate Luis Romero, 44, at Corcoran State Prison.
Romero, 44, was beheaded and other body parts were removed after a bedsheet was placed over the window to the cell he shared with Osuna the night of March 8, 2019. Romeo was serving life without parole for a murder in Los Angeles County in 1992.
At the time of Romero’s death, Osuna was serving life without parole for the torture and killing of Yvette Pena in Bakersfield. He pleaded guilty in 2017 to first-degree murder and other charges filed in Pena’s killing.