Ex-Border Patrol agent’s capital homicide trial goes to jury

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Jurors started deliberating Wednesday within the capital homicide trial of a former Border Patrol agent who confessed to killing 4 intercourse employees in 2018 as a result of he needed to wash up the streets of his South Texas hometown.

Juan David Ortiz, 39, faces life in jail if convicted of capital homicide within the slayings that happened over a two-week span. Ortiz was a Border Patrol intel supervisor on the time of his arrest. He’s accused of killing Melissa Ramirez, 29, Claudine Anne Luera, 42, Guiselda Alicia Cantu, 35, and Janelle Ortiz, 28.

The decide advised jurors Wednesday that they may contemplate a homicide cost in every dying.

“It’s terrifying to have the enemy throughout the ranks of legislation enforcement,” Webb County District Legal professional Isidro Alaniz stated throughout closing statements.

In the course of the trial that started final week, jurors heard Juan David Ortiz’s confession throughout a prolonged interview with investigators.

The ladies have been intercourse employees who frequented the identical avenue in Laredo. Within the interview, Ortiz stated he’d been a buyer of most of them however he additionally expressed disdain for intercourse employees, referring to them as “trash” and “so soiled” and telling investigators he needed to “clear up the streets.”

He advised investigators that “the monster would come out” as he drove alongside a stretch of avenue in Laredo that the ladies frequented.

In closing statements, protection attorneys stated Ortiz’s confession shouldn’t be thought of as a result of he was improperly induced to offer it, and stated at one level he didn’t need to speak. Protection legal professional Joel Perez argued that Ortiz, a Navy veteran, was affected by post-traumatic stress dysfunction from a deployment to Iraq, had been affected by insomnia, nightmares and complications, and was medicated and had been consuming that night time.

“He’s not in his finest frame of mind,” Perez stated.

Prosecutors advised jurors throughout closing statements it was a authorized confession by an informed senior legislation enforcement official who was not having a psychological breakdown.

“He might have stopped speaking. He might have requested for a lawyer and he by no means did,” Webb County Assistant District Legal professional Karina Rios stated.

Ortiz’s arrest was set in movement when a lady fled from him after he pointed a gun at her in his truck at a gasoline station. As Erika Pena ran to a state trooper who was refueling his automobile, Ortiz fled.

Pena, now 31, testified that after Ortiz picked her up on Sept. 14, 2018, she started to get a foul feeling. She stated he advised her he was the “subsequent to final individual” to have intercourse with Ramirez, who had been discovered slain the week earlier, and he was fearful investigators would discover his DNA.

“It made me suppose that he was the one who may need been murdering,” Pena advised the jury.

Luera was fatally shot on Sept. 13, 2018.

Authorities tracked Ortiz to a resort parking storage within the early hours of Sept. 15, 2018, and he was arrested. In the course of the confession, Ortiz described killing Cantu and Janelle Ortiz simply hours earlier. An investigator testified it wasn’t till his confession that they discovered in regards to the slaying of Janelle Ortiz.

Webb County Medical Examiner Corinne Stern testified that Ramirez, Luna and Janelle Ortiz died of gunshot wounds whereas Cantu, who was shot within the neck, died of blunt drive trauma to the pinnacle.

The bullets collected from the crime scenes got here from the identical gun, and matched the weapon present in Juan David Ortiz’s pickup, a ballistics knowledgeable testified.

The trial was held in San Antonio, in Bexar County, following a protection request to maneuver the trial from Webb County as a consequence of intensive media protection.


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