Inmate Juan Villanueva Died In Suspected Homicide At North Kern State Prison In Delano

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (September 11, 2023) – An inmate identified as Juan Villanueva has tragically died in a suspected homicide at the North Kern State Prison in Delano.

Los Angeles County officials are saying that the incident took place around 8:50 a.m. on Friday. Correctional officials found Juan Villanueva unresponsive in his shared cell.

Jail medical staff were called to the scene in order to help the victim. Despite life-saving measures, Juan Villanueva died due to his injuries.

His cellmate, Ramon Escobar, is a suspect in the attack. Escobar was serving a life sentence for the murder of seven people prior to the attack.

Several of his victims were beaten to death. A full investigation remains ongoing at this time.


Liability For Inmate Homicides At North Kern State Prison

Jails are supposed to be places of rehabilitation and reflection. But far too often they become dens of violence and neglect. It is therefore not surprising that homicides are a common cause of in-custody death. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, “The number of homicides in state prisons reached a record high of 120 deaths in 2018, a reminder that while prisons are secure, they are largely unsafe. Violence in prison is commonplace, tied to trauma prior to incarceration as well as mental health stressors inside. The rate of homicide in state prison is 2.5 times greater than in the U.S. population when adjusted for age, sex, and race/ethnicity.” Prisons can take several measures to prevent attacks.

  • Correctional officers should be trained in conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques.
  • Inmate should be adequately supervised.
  • Jail officials should prevent inmates from acquiring weapons.
  • Violent inmates should typically be segregated away from non-violent offenders.

Inmates have a constitutional right to live in a reasonably safe environment. They must also be protected from reasonably foreseeable sources of harm. This includes attacks by other inmates. When a jail has specific knowledge of particular threats, they must take action to prevent harm. If a jail knowingly fails to take action to prevent an inmate from being attacked or killed, this could form the basis of a constitutional claim. Several steps should be taken after any inmate homicide.

  • Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
  • Surveillance footage of the attack should be sought.
  • Medical records should be preserved.
  • Jail records should be examined.
  • An experienced civil rights attorney should be contacted.

Ideally, jails should take a holistic approach to preventing inmate violence. This begins with the way that inmates are treated. Inmates should be treated with compassion. But far too often, inmates are either neglected or abused. It is important that inmates and their families understand that they do have rights. The family of any inmate that died in custody may be able to seek some measure of justice through a constitutional claim. It is always advisable to seek out the guidance of an experienced civil rights attorney after an in-custody death.


Investigating  Inmate Homicides At North Kern State Prison

We at the Sehat Law Firm extend our deepest condolences to the family of Juan Villanueva. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to police. It is our sincere hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.

Do you need more information about an in-custody death at the North Kern State Prison? Our team of civil rights attorneys are here to help in any way that we can. We are committed to getting victims justice and holding jails accountable for their neglect. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (949) 825-5200.


legal disclaimer

Legal Disclaimer