A convicted Florida child molester was found dead in his cell, beaten and drowned in the cell toilet, and his cellmate has been charged with his murder, Yahoo News reports.
David Oseas Ramirez was doing life after his 2013 sentencing, having been convicted of lewd or lascivious molestation of an 11-year-old girl. At the time of his death, he had been incarcerated on the fifth floor of Jacksonville's Duval County Detention Center, in the most secure part of the building.
He was sharing a cell with Paul Dixon, 43, who was doing time for murder.
At about 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, a "verbal confrontation" between the two men, and possibly a third and/or even more, escalated into a physical confrontation. By the time deputies arrived at the cell, Ramirez was dead, having been severely beaten and then drowned in the cell's toilet. It bears noting that, as of this writing, Ramirez's official cause of death hasn't been determined. An autopsy is pending.
At first, the Jacksonville County Sheriff's Office issued a statement stating that there was a death in their facility, but did not list the name of the inmate. However, local media searched publicly available jail records and found that Ramirez had been listed on the roll call as "deceased."Dixon has since been charged with murder in Ramirez's death.
Meanwhile, a third inmate who may have witnessed the murder, has not been cooperating with authorities.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says that incidents of cellmates killing each other are rare at that particular facility. However, crime and safety analyst Ken Jefferson says, via Newsweek, that when it comes to inmates convicted of crimes against children, all bets are off.
"When men go to jail accused, convicted of hurting a child, there is no peace in jail. They have to constantly watch over their back. They have to hope they can befriend someone to look out for them. To protect them," Jefferson says.
A 2003 ABC News report backs up Jefferson's claim, stating that prison is a "living hell" for men convicted of crimes against children. Margot Bach, a spokeswoman for California Department of Corrections, says that convicts like to make a name for themselves, in order to gain status with other inmates, and killing another inmate is a sure way to gain that status. And child abusers make easy targets.
"Taking [a pedophile] out would gain [the killer] a lot more respect among the other inmates," Bach says.