BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — He killed his aunt and uncle in Texas, then followed that up by bludgeoning five homeless men to death in attacks that occurred over a two-week span in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
Sentenced to life without parole last year, 52-year-old Ramon Escobar‘s ability to cause havoc was seemingly curtailed.
Just nine months later, however, Escobar allegedly raised his grim death tally by one. Prosecutors say he strangled his cellmate in February at North Kern State Prison in Delano.
The now purported eight-time murderer made his first appearance in Kern County on Thursday for a brief hearing in which not-guilty pleas were entered and bail denied. He wore orange prison clothing and spoke briefly with Deputy Public Defender Jano Mattaeo.
He’s due back in court next month.
It’s unclear why Escobar was given a cellmate. His latest alleged victim, Juan Villanueva, 53, was found dead three weeks after being placed in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Villanueva was a convicted sex offender from Los Angeles County.
17 News reached out to CDCR for reports generated on Escobar’s placement and the decision to give him a cellmate. Our request was denied.
According to the Associated Press, Escobar fled Houston in 2018 after police questioned him over the disappearance of his uncle Rogelio Esobar, 65, and aunt Dina Escobar, 60. Their bodies were later found at a landfill and Escobar confessed to their killings. The AP reported he killed his uncle because he felt “disrespected,” and murdered his aunt when she went looking for the uncle.
He used bolt cutters and a baseball bat to attack homeless men in the L.A. area, the AP reported. Escobar told police some were killed because they “irritated him, they were disrespectful to law enforcement, or he robbed them because he needed money,” the AP, citing a prosecution sentencing memorandum, reported.
Originally from El Salvador, Escobar was deported six times before the killings, officials said.