Convicted Child Predator Found Dead. Shared Cell With Serial Killer.

Juan Villanueva, 53, was pronounced dead in his cell at North Kern State Prison in California on Friday, February 2nd, 2021. The Kern County Coroner’s office has ruled his death a homicide.

At 9:03 a.m. that morning, Villanueva was found unresponsive in his cell, with his cellmate Ramon Escobar, 51, having been sentenced to life in prison for two counts of first-degree murder.

He had previously pleaded guilty to the 2018 slayings of his aunt and uncle and seven attempted-second degree murder charges resulting from a two-week crime spree in Santa Monica that killed five people and wounded another seven.

The California Department of Corrections is currently investigating Villanueva’s death, while Escobar is currently in restrictive housing. As of yet, no details have been released as to how the victim was killed.

Villanueva had only been incarcerated since October 25th, 2022 after pleading guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14 years old.

His death has raised concerns about safety standards for inmates in California prisons.