Convicted serial killer Ramon Escobar is suspected of killing his new cellmate at a central California prison on Friday, officials said.
Escobar, 51, is being held in a prison with Juan Villanueva at North Kern State Prison in Delano.
Villanueva, 53, was found unconscious at 8:49 a.m. on February 24.
An officer approached the cell and was “immediately summoned for medical response,” the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) said in a statement.
prison When an ambulance was called, crews tried to save his life and Villanueva was taken to a treatment area.
Despite attempts to resuscitate him, Villanueva was pronounced dead at 9:03 a.m.
Villanueva was serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole for the aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 in Los Angeles County, officials said in a statement.
Escobar is suspected of killing Villanueva and has been placed in restricted housing pending an investigation, the CDCR agency said.
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The Kern County coroner will determine the official cause of death, authorities said.
No other details were provided.
serving life sentence
Escobar, from El Salvador, is serving a life sentence without parole after pleading guilty to killing five people and wounding seven last year.
He also admitted to killing his aunt and uncle in Houston, Texas.
Escobar fled Texas after killing a relative in August 2018, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors added that Escobar was homeless for about two weeks when he began attacking people in Los Angeles and Santa Monica in September 2018.
His trial has been postponed until 2022 because of the pandemic.
Escobar arrived with prison guards in December and Villanueva arrived on Feb. 2, officials said.
Both Escobar and Villanueva were housed at the reception center, which processes inmates from counties across California.