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Death Penalty Sought for Juan David Ortiz in 2018 TX Prostitute Slayings - Page 3
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  1. #21
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Trial set for Border Patrol agent accused of murdering four women

    By Anna Giaritelli
    Washington Examiner

    A Texas judge has scheduled for next week the start of the trial for a U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of murdering four women who were sex workers in separate incidents last year, according to a local outlet.

    Juan David Ortiz, an agent from the Laredo region, will go on trial Aug. 8 in the 406th District Court of Texas after his case was pushed back from its original start date of Aug. 5, KGNS reported Thursday.

    Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to four charges of capital murder after being arrested last September. The 35-year-old man and 10-year federal agent was taken into custody amid what the Webb County Sheriff's Office alleged was a fifth kidnapping.

    "We do consider this to be a serial killer," Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said during a press conference following the arrest. "It meets the qualifications or definition of being a serial killer — in this case we have four people murdered."

    Law enforcement said the first murder is believed to have taken place Sept. 3. Law enforcement was able to recover all four bodies, but as of last September, two of the bodies had not been identified.

    Ortiz is being held on a $2.56 million bond.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/n...ing-four-women
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
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    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

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    Wow not even 1 year since the crime and the trial is starting. I'm impressed.
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    I remember reading about this when he was first arrested. IIRC, he was having an affair with a prostitute who worked in the area, but he didn't approve of her occupation. I wonder if he killed those 4 other ladies to scare her out of doing sex work.

  4. #24
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    Edited:

    Trial for Border Patrol agent accused of killing 4 women, kidnapping 5th in Texas postponed

    By Vandana Rambaran
    Fox News

    The trial for a Border Patrol agent accused of being a Texas serial killer has been postponed until October.

    Juan David Ortiz was set to appear before a judge in the 406th District Court on Aug. 5, until the court announced Friday that the date had been moved, according to reports by KGNS.

    https://www.foxnews.com/us/trial-for...exas-postponed
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  5. #25
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    Texas: Border Patrol Agent Accused of 12-Day Killing Spree: 'He Decided ... These People Did Not Deserve to Live'

    What he wanted, he allegedly told Texas investigators in a chilling confession, was to clean the streets of Laredo. That's why, he said, he went on a 12-day rampage, killing 4 women and leaving them on the side of rural roads.

    Juan David Ortiz, a 35-year-old Navy veteran and former intelligence supervisor for the U.S. Border Patrol, is suspected of being a serial killer who preyed upon local women, killing 4 and kidnapping another, after picking them up along a Laredo street last year. He shot his victims with his service weapon, prosecutor Isidro Alaniz told InsideEdition.com, and left their bodies in plain sight.

    The women were sex workers, many of whom struggled for years with drug addiction, their families said, and whose workplace was San Bernardo Avenue, a tightly packed thoroughfare of cheap motels, auto body shops, taco stands and convenience stores. All of the women knew each other; some were good friends. But Ortiz, a married father of 2 young children, said he wanted to rid Laredo of the women's presence, according to Alaniz.

    "He decided in his own mind that these people did not deserve to live," the prosecutor said. "It was not up to Juan David Ortiz to decide to end their lives. Nobody has that right. Nobody has the right to unilaterally decide that another person shouldn't live, and then execute them as if they're just an inanimate object."

    All but one of the victims had children. All had families in Laredo who are still grappling with the women's brutal ends.

    "These were mothers, they were daughters, they were sisters," said Colette Miereles, whose sister, 42-year-old Claudine Luera, was victim No. 2. "They didn't deserve this."

    Angelica Perez, another sister of Luera's, remembers the anguish of bringing together her nieces and nephews. "We had to tell them, 'Your mother's gone.' It's one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, because we had to listen to their screams.

    "He left her on the side of the road like she was trash."

    The sole survivor managed to jump out of Ortiz's truck after he pointed his service weapon at her, investigators said. He grabbed her shirt, but she slipped out of it and ran, wearing only a bra from the waist up. Erika Pena, 26, fled to a gas station, where she saw a Texas trooper filling up his cruiser. She begged for help, according to Webb County sheriff's deputies.

    In the next few hours, as deputies searched for Ortiz, he killed 2 more women, authorities said.

    The murders terrified the border town, which is one of the fastest-growing cities in Texas and home to the largest internal port on the U.S.-Mexico border. International trade fuels the local economy, and the metropolitan area's population of about 260,000 is more than 95% Hispanic and Latino.

    "When this case broke open, the community's tight-knit, so it was very scary for people," Alaniz said. "Lardeo's not used to dealing with a serial killer. ... This is such a friendly town. People are so respectful."

    It is particularly galling, Alaniz said, that Ortiz was "entrusted with protection and defending the Constitution." The killings also took place as President Trump ramped up his anti-immigration rhetoric and increased the detention of asylum seekers — though Laredo's border crossings are more for commerce than immigration.

    As an intelligence supervisor with the agency, Oritz investigated human and narcotics trafficking and had long patrolled the border, where he knew the back roads and highways, authorities said.

    The district attorney for Webb and Zapata counties says Ortiz knew the women were easy targets because of their addictions and their occupations. "He knew that and he capitalized on that," said Alaniz. The suspect also thought he could get away with it, Alaniz said, because he was a law enforcement official and therefore beyond suspicion.

    That hubris contributed to the prosecutor filing capital murder charges against Ortiz, he said. "It's my decision to pursue the death penalty," he said. If Ortiz is found guilty, "his punishment should be death," Alaniz added.

    The case began on Sept. 3, 2018, when a rancher called 911 to say there was a body on the side of Texas Highway 255, right out in the open.

    Melissa Ramirez, 29, the mother of 2 young children, had been shot multiple times in the head with a .40-caliber handgun.

    Ten days later, about 2 miles east on the same stretch of barren highway, Luera's body was found. Again, the remains were easily seen, more so this time because Luera had managed to crawl toward the road. She had been shot several times in the head. "She had a heartbeat when he left her there," said Mireles, her sister. "That's the hardest part. Knowing she was there alone."

    Hours after Luera's body was found, Ortiz picked up Pena, authorities said. She had known him for about 4 months, her relatives said. When she got into his truck on Sept. 14, he took her to his house, Pena told investigators. She knew his name only as David, but she was aware he was a Border Patrol agent, her family told local reporters last year.

    He had been her customer before, she said. She asked Ortiz about her friend, Ramirez, and her death, which seemed to anger the Border Patrol agent, authorities said. Pena became so frightened she walked out onto Ortiz's front lawn and vomited, she told investigators. She made an excuse to get back to San Bernardo Avenue. She needed cigarettes, she told Ortiz, authorities said.

    As they drove, she mentioned Ramirez again. At a stop light, they argued, with Ortiz grabbing his service gun and pointing it at her chest, investigators said. She flung open the truck's door and took off screaming, finding Department of Public Safety Trooper Francisco Hernandez refueling at an Alero gas station on San Bernardo.

    As Pena pleaded with Hernandez, Ortiz drove off, the prosecutor said. She told Hernandez that her attacker was a Border Patrol agent she knew as David. He tried to kill me, she said.

    "Due to her courageousness in saving her own life," Alaniz said, "she broke the case open."

    She didn't know the agent's last name, but she knew where he lived. Webb County sheriff's deputies were able to figure out his full name and issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) alert for him.

    But as they searched, Ortiz allegedly ramped up his own efforts to clean the streets. In the next 5 hours, according to the prosecutor, Ortiz picked up and killed Guiselda "Shelly" Hernandez Cantu, 35, the mother of four. He allegedly shot her several times and left her on the side of Interstate 35, which bisects Laredo and heads north all the way to Minnesota.

    He turned around and headed south on Interstate 35, back to Laredo, where he picked up Janelle Ortiz, 28, a transgender woman who got into the Border Patrol agent's truck after he asked if she "was working," a witness told authorities. As he did with Cantu, Ortiz shot her and dumped her body near the interstate, investigators said.

    Deputies caught up with Ortiz at 1 a.m. on Sept. 15, when he stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom, the prosecutor said. He ran, but was arrested after they found him hiding in the bed of a pickup truck in a nearby parking structure, Alaniz said.

    Authorities said he gave a taped, nine-hour confession, telling investigators there were two new victims since Pena's escape, Alaniz said. Ortiz told deputies where they could find the bodies, the prosecutor said.

    Ortiz pleaded not guilty in January to murder, kidnapping and assault charges. He has been held on $2.5 million bail since his arrest. A request for comment from InsideEdition.com to his attorney was not answered. His next court date is scheduled for October.

    Though he knew his first 2 victims, authorities said, the last 2 were strangers.

    "They deserve justice," Alaniz said. "Their families deserve justice. These individuals are human beings, and they have family members that love them, that care for them, that miss them."

    The families depend on Alaniz for that justice. "The district attorney is a very humble man," said Mireles. "He did pay his respects to us." His office stays in constant contact with family members about Ortiz's case. "I know we will get justice," she said. "This man will be held accountable."

    Though grief can't be measured by inches or time, it looms large over the five children of Luera, as well as her sisters and their children.

    Luera was a quiet child. As a teenager, she began to rebel, fighting with her mother. "My mom couldn't understand why," Perez said. She dropped out of school in the ninth grade and fell into drugs and the wrong company. "Our father gave her an ultimatum, either you go to jail or you get the help you need," Perez recounted. "She got help and went into rehab."

    For the next few years, Luera straightened out. She had a daughter, and then 2 sets of twins. She was a stay-at-home mom. Then she and her partner split up and two of her children were diagnosed as having special needs. "She hardly left the house. It was rough taking care of them on her own," said Mireles.

    Her family helped as much as they could, said her sisters, but Luera's despair, and her demons, were stronger than they imagined.

    "The bottom fell out of her life. She got depressed. She took to drinking. We suspected it was more than alcohol," Mireles said. It was much more than that, her family later earned — it was heroin.

    But Luera always insisted she was fine, that things would work out, that she was just making her way through a rough patch.

    Five years ago, after Luera lost her home and was living in a motel with her kids, children's services workers showed up to collect them. Social workers had received reports Luera was neglecting them. The five children were split among relatives. "My sister took in two," Perez said. "My aunt took the other two and her eldest was off and on staying with me.

    "That's when I believe she turned to the streets and that's when she started doing what she was doing," Perez said. "It was very hard on us because she was just roaming the streets."

    But that didn't stop her family from reaching out to her.

    "She was sleeping under the bridge. Her daughter tried to take her to rehab," Mireles said. "She was so ashamed of what she had done that she didn't try to better herself."

    That was February 2018. Luera did go to rehab, but she left before her treatment ended, her heroin addiction greater than her resolve. "She said it was a physical pain that she would feel if she went hours without it," Perez said. "She said 'I can't. I feel like I'm going to die. You don't understand.'"

    In April, Luera landed in the hospital. An abscess was eating at her leg, in the spot where she shot up.

    Mireles went to see her. "Your children need you," she said she told her. Take this time in the hospital, her family said, to get clean, where doctors can help you through withdrawal and your leg can be treated.

    Luera said she'd try.

    But she fled the hospital, checking herself out against her doctor's orders. She needed antibiotics for the hole in her leg, and her relatives went to Mexico, where medication is cheaper, and bought her pills.

    "She started getting better," Perez said. She would talk about this hard life she was living, and how it was wearing her out.

    In September, Luera called Perez. "We talked for like two, two-and-a-half hours. We laughed. I was going to Hawaii on vacation. She was so excited. She said, 'Take lots of pictures,'" Perez recalled.

    "We were talking about our childhood, the way my mom was, how she would make us laugh." Their mother used to dress up her little girls and then dragged them to see horror films. "I mean, the scariest movies ... and we would leave petrified," Perez said, laughing at the memory.

    She and Luera giggled about that. At one point, Luera said, "I miss mom, I really miss mom," who died in 2009. "I do, too,'' Perez replied.

    On Sept. 11, Mireles talked to Luera on the phone. Her sister was happy that two of her children had recently graduated from high school. "She was so proud," Mireles said. "She didn't give us any indication of anything being wrong." Luera was her usual, happy-go-lucky self.

    "Never would I have ever thought that would be the last time I ever spoke to her," Mireles said, her voice catching.

    They found Luera's body 2 days later. Her sisters started hearing about it long before authorities came calling, they said. "I started getting phone calls from people from the streets," Perez said. The body found on Highway 255, that was Luera, the callers said.

    She was the 2nd sex worker to be killed within 10 days. Mireles said she called the Webb County Sheriff's Office, then the morgue, begging someone to tell her if the body they had belonged to her sister.

    Eventually, Mireles was told what she didn't want to hear. Yes, the coroner's office told her, they had the body of Claudine Ann Luera.

    2 days later, her family would once again be slapped with information that left them incredulous.

    A suspect had been arrested in Luera's killing. "The first thing I thought, was that it was a drug dealer," Perez said. "I said, 'What do you mean, he's a Border Patrol agent?' I didn't know how to react to that."

    In Laredo, where the U.S.-Mexico border lies just 5 miles away, Border Patrol agents are as common a sight as police officers. Many live in town or just outside it. They are part of the community.

    In Laredo, the families of the victims held vigils, lighting candles and holding photographs of four beautiful women whose lives were marred by powerful addictions and cut short by a killer who believed, according to the prosecutor, that they didn't deserve to live.

    Their families believed no such thing.

    "Addiction is a monster," said Mireles. "One person uses, but the whole family suffers. We never lost hope in Claudine," she said.

    "We never stopped believing that her life would change ... We were so close, I think, because she was realizing that she didn't want to go through it anymore. And sadly, he took that away from us.

    "For people out there who are dealing with addiction, get the help you need. Know that you are loved, no matter what ... know your family loves you," Perez said. "Get the help. Get better."

    https://www.insideedition.com/border...eserve-to-live
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  6. #26
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    Webb County District Attorney in pursuit of justice

    By Noraida Negron
    KGNS News

    LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - An alleged killing spree that shook the Laredo community is still being felt a year later.

    The Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz says he has decided to seek the death penalty against former Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz who is accused of killing four people.

    Alaniz says the death penalty is reserved for the most heinous crimes; the type of crimes that are hard to fathom.

    Its also a case that garnered national attention and like all cases, his goal is to seek the truth and justice for the victims of these horrific crimes.

    The journey to seek the truth can take longer from case to case which takes a lot of resources from the DAs office to carry out a capital murder trial.

    Alaniz says a case like this will have a team of five attorneys that are designated to the trial who are in charge of organizing the evidence and everything that is needed to present the case in court.

    Because things can always change, Alaniz is in constant communication with the victims families and other law enforcement agencies on how the case will be developed.

    The district attorney feels the decision to seek the death penalty falls heavily on his shoulders.

    Alaniz says he takes the family members feelings, and opinions into consideration, but ultimately his responsibility is to the community at large.

    This is not the first time that Alaniz has decided to seek the death penalty but he says it never gets easier.

    The District Attorneys Office is hoping to begin the jury selection process by the end of 2020 or early 2021.

    In the meantime, Ortizs next hearing is set for October 8th.

    https://www.kgns.tv/content/news/Dis...559460561.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  7. #27
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    Alleged ex-BP serial killer Juan David Ortiz denied reduction of $2.5M bond

    By Maria Salas
    Laredo Morning Times

    On Thursday, former Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David Ortiz, 36, appeared in court for a bond reduction hearing.

    406th District Court Judge Oscar J. Hale Jr. denied Ortiz's request for bond reduction stating that the bond amounts set are appropriate under the given circumstances. He remains behind bars, held on a $2.5 million bond.

    Ortiz was indicted in December on one count of capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint and evading arrest. The assault and unlawful restraint charges stem from Ortiz allegedly pointing a gun at a woman in his pickup truck.

    The woman, Erika Pea, escaped from the vehicle and notified a nearby Texas trooper, law enforcement said.

    Following his arrest Sept. 15, 2018, Ortiz confessed to killing Melissa Ramirez, 29; Claudine Anne Luera, 42; Guiselda Alicia Hernndez, 35; and Nikki Enriquez, 28; over a 12-day period, according to an affidavit filed by law enforcement.

    Pea was the main witness for prosecutors. She testified that Ortiz said she was his favorite and described their relationship as a friendship. Her escape is what eventually led authorities to Ortiz.

    In her testimony, Pea also said that she was friends with Ramirez and Luera. She said that when she asked him about the murders, he said he had seen it on the news.

    She testified that they met five months before the homicides, and the night before he got arrested, Ortiz took Pea to three different locations in the city to buy drugs before taking her to his house.

    Pea identified Ortiz's tattoos, describing the birds on his chest and the different pieces on his arms. She testified about the different times they were intimate.

    Pea testified that she is in a rehabilitation program for her addiction to heroin and crack. She said she still feared for her life, and even though the bond is set at $2.5 million dollars, she is afraid he will come after her.

    Webb County Sheriff's Office Captain of Criminal Investigations Federico Calderon testified about the service weapon used by Ortiz including the federally provided .40 caliber ammunition, according to Texas Department of Public Safety lab analysis.

    Joel Perez, Ortiz's attorney, filed an application for writ of habeas corpus on April 25 seeking a bond reduction. According to the document, Ortiz's incarceration with excessive bail is oppressive and cruel, constitutes unusual punishment, and violates the U.S. Constitution.

    The court record adds, "The applicant has only minimal financial resources but could raise the funds required to post bail through a professional bondsman in the amount of $25,000."

    Ortiz's mother was a witness for the defense. She testified that her son doesn't have a temper and was raised in a Christian household. She added that she does not consider him a risk to community. She would be his custodian if he were released on bond.

    When asked if she knew about Ortiz soliciting prostitutes, she said she did not know about that.

    Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar increased security in the already packed courtroom Thursday.

    "Taking into consideration that this is a high profile case and understanding the welfare of all employees and court participants, I increased security for this hearing. I was present to ensure all was running accordingly," Cuellar said.

    Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said he is satisfied with the judge's ruling.

    Additional motions

    Perez filed additional motions requesting the court to suppress evidence and requesting additional discovery items from prosecutors.

    In the motion to suppress, Perez states that the arrest and search and seizure of Ortiz's items, papers, vehicle, home and property was illegal because it was conducted without a valid warrant, probable cause or reasonable suspicion.

    "That all statements, either written or oral, made after the said arrest of defendant are fruits of the illegal arrest and search and are therefore inadmissible," the motion states.
    In a motion to determine the admissibility of written or oral statements made by Ortiz, Perez asks the court to conduct a hearing to determine whether Ortiz's confession was made voluntarily.

    Perez states that his client was unrepresented by him at the time he allegedly gave any statements, admissions or confessions, nor did he knowingly and intelligently waive his right to counsel.

    The motion for discovery, production and inspection of evidence asks that prosecutors turn over any statements made by Ortiz, reports made by police officers who investigated or participated in the preparation of the case for trial, objects and/or tangible property alleged by the state to have been used by Ortiz during the course of the offense, photographs and videos, results of scientific tests conducted for the case, identification of evidence and prior criminal records of Ortiz, and any other persons involved in the case and trial.

    "In support of the foregoing, (Ortiz) would show the court that the production of all the above evidence is necessary to the effective assistance of counsel," the motion states.

    A motions hearing is scheduled for Friday at 8:30 a.m. in the 406th District Court.

    https://www.lmtonline.com/local/arti...z-14491128.php
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Alleged BP serial killer’s arrest, confession discussed in Laredo courtroom

    By Maria Salas
    Laredo Morning Times

    Testimony during Monday’s hearing revealed new details about the arrest and confession of the former Supervisory Border Patrol agent indicted for allegedly fatally shooting four women and kidnapping another in Laredo during 2018.

    Juan David Ortiz was indicted on December 2019 on one count of capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint and evading arrest. The assault and unlawful restraint charges stem from Ortiz allegedly pointing a gun at a woman in his pickup truck. The woman, Erika Pea, escaped from the vehicle and notified a nearby Texas trooper, law enforcement said.

    According to online court records, Joel Perez, Ortiz’s attorney, filed two ex parte motions in December and March, respectively, on behalf of his client. An ex parte motion is a sealed record filed with no advanced notice. The motion is only discussed between the court and the party that filed it.

    Prosecutors challenged the motions filed by calling Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Abiel Obregon and Webb County Sheriff’s Office Captain of Criminal Investigations Federico Calderon to testify.

    Confession

    Calderon testified Monday that Ortiz’s interview began shortly after 3 a.m. It took approximately 10 hours and ended around noon the next day.

    Calderon added that Ortiz was advised of his Miranda Rights and he never requested an attorney, never asked to terminate his interview.

    Ortiz didn’t immediately confess, Calderon said.

    “We provided restroom breaks, water breaks, asked him if he was hungry, got him snacks and food,” Calderon testified.

    Ortiz was agitated during the interview, he said. However, Calderon said that neither he nor Texas Ranger E.J. Salinas had to get aggressive with Ortiz.

    Calderon testified that Ortiz was given three restroom breaks and was given Whataburger toward the end of the interview.

    Calderon said that Ortiz was advised that a weapon was found.

    Calderon read from a transcript of the interview that was conducted:

    Calderon: JD, look at me.

    Ortiz: It all started...can you please take off these handcuffs? I’m not going to attack you.

    Calderon: no problem.

    Calderon takes off Ortiz’s handcuffs

    Ortiz: Melissa was a friend of mine.

    This was the beginning of Ortiz’s confession to authorities about the murders of Ramirez, Luera, Hernandez and Ortiz.

    Calderon testified that Ortiz described the location of the bodies, how he killed the women and how the women knew each other from their work.

    “He told us about victims we hadn’t discovered yet,” Calderon said. “He confessed he killed four victims by shooting them with a .40 caliber pistol. A government issued pistol with government issued ammunition.”

    The third victim was Guiselda Hernandez, who was found under I-35. He later picked up Pena on San Bernardo Avenue up until she escaped.

    After Pena escaped, Ortiz returned to his home and started loading up the rest of his weapons in anticipation, Calderon testified. Ortiz went back to San Bernardo and picked up Humberto “Janelle” Ortiz and allegedly shot her like the rest of the women.

    “We had not found that body,” Calderon said. “While we were interviewing Ortiz, other investigators went to verify the claims.”

    Calderon said that Ortiz’s demeanor was consistent throughout the interview.

    Once authorities obtained a search warrant for Ortiz’s home, the search yielded the weapons that he had taken up at the time — an automatic rifle and a pistol that were loaded and accessible in the kitchen and living room area.

    “He had a lot of ammo,” Calderon testified.

    Calderon said Ortiz requested a picture of his family and that his retirement package went to his wife.

    Perez argued that Calderon used language that sounded conditional when interviewing his client.

    Perez read transcripts that described Calderon telling Ortiz that Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz was at the substation and if he wanted a good word put in for him, that Ortiz should say whatever he felt comfortable saying.

    “Whatever you feel comfortable telling us, just help us show the DA you’re cooperating,” Perez read from the transcript.

    Arrest

    Obregon testified that on the night of Sept. 14 and 15, 2018, he received the “Be On the Lookout,” or BOLO, with the description of a white Dodge Ram and license plates along with the suspect’s driver’s license photo while patrolling the area. Additionally, the BOLO carried with it a warning that the subject could be armed and dangerous.

    Obregon added that he saw Ortiz going into a Stripes convenience store located on the corner of Jefferson Street and San Bernardo Avenue.

    “(A trooper) made contact with the subject,” Obregon said. “By making contact, I mean he saw the suspect going into the store. He called backup. I was maybe two blocks away. I saw his lights. I approached him. I got out of the vehicle, and that’s when we waited for the suspect to get out of the gas station.”

    Obregon added that he and the other trooper had their weapons drawn because the BOLO said the suspect was armed and dangerous, and he knew what case was being investigated at the time.

    “The case that we were looking into was about a suspect killing multiple females on (Interstate 35),” Obregon said. “We decided to be proactive. We knew the level of danger that he could present to us, so that’s why we approached the situation with our weapons drawn.”

    When Ortiz exited the store, the troopers on site began trying to question him about the murders that happened earlier in the month.

    Obregon testified that Ortiz fled on foot and ended up at Hotel Ava where he was arrested on an evading arrest on foot charge. He added that Ortiz was arrested an hour after the encounter at the convenience store.

    Webb County Sheriff’s Office and three state troopers found Ortiz laying in the trunk of the white Dodge Ram. Ortiz was arrested and transported to the Webb County Sheriff’s Substation on Highway 59.

    Calderon testified that he was in charge of investigating the murders of Melissa Ramirez and Claudine Luera.

    Calderon said they received a call from a state trooper who said he had a person that claimed she had been assaulted by someone.

    When the call came in from the state trooper, Calderon testified that he was actively investigating leads into the two murder cases.

    After he got the call, the state trooper brought Pena to the substation where she told officials that she had been assaulted by a person by the name of David earlier that evening, Calderon said.

    “She began to give us information and explained to us that David was the same person we were looking for in relation to the murders,” Calderon said.

    He added that she described the white Dodge Ram, gave the name David and described him as clean cut, light complexion of medium light build and fit.

    “She mentioned she knew what part of town he lived, and that she had been to the house before,” Calderon testified. “She described the home. (Pena) described the general location and described the outside and somewhat what the inside looked like.”

    Calderon said Pena stated that she had seen Ramirez and Luera with David before they disappeared, and she believed based on what she felt that Ortiz was involved in that.

    “She said that they were involved in some sort of discussion or argument regarding Melissa and Claudine’s murders,” Calderon said. “She started becoming irate and worried to where a small struggle broke out and at some point a weapon was produced.”

    Pena described the black handgun and said it was pointed at her by David in the vehicle during the argument while she was trying to leave.

    Calderon described the struggle and how during Pena’s escape, her shirt came off and she ran until she saw the state trooper parked at the gas pump.

    “We asked her to take us to the area where she described the house so we could identify the house and continue our investigation,” Calderon testified.

    After visiting the house on Bur Oak Street, investigators checked the appraisal district and identified Ortiz as the owner, and investigators realized that Ortiz was the “David” that Pena had identified. Investigators also learned that Ortiz owned a white Dodge Ram.

    After putting out a BOLO for the information, the substation received information that officers had made contact with Ortiz.

    “We headed toward that scene, and we heard they engaged in a foot chase with Ortiz and that they lost him somewhere on the block where Hotel Ava is located,” Calderon testified.

    Calderon testified that Texas Ranger E.J. Salinas found an empty holster and purses in the white Dodge Ram. A .40 caliber weapon was eventually found in the truck.

    “Mr. Ortiz was found in the bed of a pickup truck at the top level apartment garage at the Ava hotel,” Calderon said. “He was arrested without incident.”

    Ortiz was later transported to the substation on hwy 59, Calderon said.

    Perez argued to 406th District Court Judge Oscar J. Hale Jr. that whether deliberate or not, Ortiz was read his Miranda Rights at approximately 3:21 a.m., and eight hours later, a confession was given.

    “There is an attenuation from the reading of his rights to the statement given,” Perez argued.

    Without all those promises and inducements, Ortiz’s free will would not have been moved.

    “For all those reasons, we submit to the court that at least the part where he talks about the offenses that that would be inadmissible for all the reasons stated,” Perez said.

    Alaniz respectfully disagreed with the defense counsel as he stated the officers were not aggressive or coercive.

    “As far as duration, 10 hours is not something that is unusual,” Alaniz said. “At the time they brought him in, there’s two murders they know of.”

    Investigators received information on another murder, and finally Ortiz voluntarily gives information on Janelle, the last victim, Alaniz argued.

    “We believe in this case, the state has met all of its requirements,” Alaniz said. “The confession was obtained voluntarily and at no time during the 10 hours did (Ortiz) explicitly request an attorney.”

    Hale told both parties that the court would issue a ruling on the motion within the next 10-15 days. The judge expressed wanting a status hearing in about 45-60 days to see where the case is at and making sure the discovery process is moving along.

    https://www.lmtonline.com/local/arti...t-15377387.php
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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