Ex-U.S. border guard who admitted killing 4 women convicted of capital homicide

A former U.S. Border Patrol agent who confessed to killing 4 intercourse workers in 2018 was convicted Wednesday of capital homicide, after jurors heard recordings of him telling investigators he was making an try to “clear up the streets” of his south Texas hometown.

Juan David Ortiz, 39, receives an computerized sentence of life in jail with out the prospect of parole as a end result of prosecutors decided to not search the demise penalty.

Ortiz, a Border Patrol intelligence supervisor on the time of his arrest, was accused of killing Melissa Ramirez, 29, Claudine Anne Luera, forty two, Guiselda Alicia Cantu, 35, and Janelle Ortiz, 28. Their our bodies had been found alongside roads on the outskirts of Laredo, Texas, in September 2018.

in the course of the trial which started final week, jurors heard Ortiz’s confession all by means of a prolonged taped interview with investigators.

Ortiz informed investigators he had been a buyer of loads of the women, however he additionally expressed disdain for intercourse workers, referring to them as “trash” and “so soiled” and insisting he wished to “clear up the streets.”

He mentioned “the monster would come out” as he drove alongside a stretch of road in Laredo frequented by the women.

Defence attorneys mentioned Ortiz was improperly induced to make the confession and that it mustn’t be thought-about.

Defence legal professional Joel Perez argued that Ortiz, a navy veteran who had been deployed to Iraq, was affected by put up-traumatic stress dysfunction, had been affected by insomnia, nightmares and issues, and was medicated and had been consuming that night.

Confession was authorized: prosecutors

Prosecutors informed jurors it was a authorized confession supplied by an educated senior legal guidelines enforcement official who was not having a psychological breakdown.

Erika Pena testified that Ortiz picked her up on the night of Sept. 14, 2018, and that she obtained a nasty feeling when he informed her he was the “subsequent to final particular person” to have intercourse with Ramirez, whose physique had been found every week earlier. She testified that he informed her he was nervous investigators would discover his DNA on the physique.

members of the household react in the course of the prosecution’s closing argument in Ortiz’s trial on Wednesday. (Jerry Lara/The San Antonio categorical-information/The associated Press)

“It made me assume that he was the one who might want been murdering,” Pena, 31, informed the jury.

Pena escaped from his truck at a gasoline station after he pointed a gun at her, and she or he ran straight to a state trooper who was refuelling his car. Ortiz fled.

Authorities tracked Ortiz to a lodge parking storage inside the early hours of Sept. 15, 2018, and he was arrested.

Capt. Federico Calderon of the Webb County Sheriff’s division testified that officers who arrested Ortiz knew regarding the slayings of Ramirez and Luera, and whereas chasing him after Pena’s escape realized that a third physique — later recognized as Cantu’s — had been found. however Calderon mentioned it wasn’t till Ortiz’s confession that they realized Janelle Ortiz had been slain.

Webb County health worker Corinne Stern testified that Ramirez, Luera and Janelle Ortiz had been fatally shot whereas Cantu, who was shot inside the neck, died of blunt strain trauma to the pinnacle.

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

Ortiz served inside the U.S. navy for virtually eight years, till 2009, holding a quantity of medical posts and served a three-yr detachment with the marines.