KERN COUNTY, Calif. – Convicted serial killer, Ramon Escobar, is accused of murdering his cellmate, Juan Villanueva, a convicted pedophile, earlier this year. Whenever an inmate who abused children is seriously injured or murdered in prison, the motive is frequently due to the inmate’s offense.
However, in this case, Escobar reportedly admitted to committing the murder, but gave investigators another reason as the case was ruled a homicide, according to FOX.
A correctional officer at North Kern State Prison in Delano found Villanueva unresponsive at 8:49 a.m. on Feb. 24. Escobar was in the cell at the time and spontaneously confessed to the homicide, according to officials.
“Hey, I’m sorry Jenkins,” Escobar told the officer, according to a probable cause affidavit. “I killed him.”
Newly unveiled court documents allege that Escobar gave a confession and a motive for the slaying. He strangled Villanueva because of his bad hygiene, the Bakersfield-based KGET-TV reported.
Escobar, 51, previously pleaded guilty to murdering his aunt and uncle in Texas before fleeing to Southern California, where he robbed and killed five men in a 14-day span in 2018, according to FOX 11 Los Angeles. The remains of Dina and Rogelio Escobar have never been found.
A plea deal in Los Angeles County spared him from the Texas death penalty, and he is serving multiple life sentences in California without the possibility of parole.
Escobar temporarily shared a cell at the prison with Villanueva who recently began serving a life sentence with the possibility of parole after being found guilty for the aggravated sexual assault of a child under the age of 14 in Los Angeles County, Law Officer previously reported.
Villanueva arrived at the prison on Feb. 2. Both inmates were housed in the Reception Center, which processes prisoners admitted from counties throughout California. The two men were temporarily being housed together in the medium security facility as California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) officials prepared to move them into permanent placements.
According to CDCR, newly arriving inmates can be held there for up to 90 days while it is determined where they should be permanently situated within the state prison system.
On Monday, authorities announced that Escobar has been charged with murdering Villanueva by strangulation. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.