Latest: DA: ‘Horrific’ Texas killings deserve death penalty

LAREDO, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the indictment of a U.S. Border Patrol agent on a capital murder charge in the slaying of four women (all times local):

4:30 p.m.

A prosecutor says he considered the “horrific nature” of the killings and the suspect’s vigilante mentality when deciding to pursue the death penalty against a U.S. Border Patrol agent who confessed to killing four female sex workers.

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz announced Wednesday that a grand jury has indicted Juan David Ortiz on a capital murder charge, an upgrade from the initial murder charges against him.


Alaniz says a person can be charged with capital murder if more than one person is killed in the same scheme with an overarching motive. Alaniz said the scheme was — in Ortiz’s words — “to clean up the streets of Laredo.”

Alaniz says Ortiz considered the women disposable and didn’t give value to them. Alaniz said the evidence presented to the grand jury showed that Ortiz killed the women “in a cold, callous and calculating way.”

He said he considers Ortiz a danger to society.


3:35 p.m.

The U.S. Border Patrol agent who confessed to killing four women in a Texas border city told investigators he considered himself a righteous vigilante.

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz also told a news conference Wednesday that he will seek the death penalty for Juan David Ortiz, who is charged with capital murder in the September deaths.

Alaniz says Ortiz told investigators that he aimed to “clean up the streets of Laredo” with the slayings.

Police have said the women killed were all sex workers, and that he targeted them because they were vulnerable.


3:20 p.m.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent who confessed to shooting four women in the head and leaving their bodies on rural Texas roadsides has been indicted on a capital murder charge.

Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said Wednesday that a grand jury decided to upgrade the charges against 35-year-old Juan David Ortiz.

Ortiz was initially charged with four counts of murder, as well as aggravated assault and unlawful restraint. He has been jailed on a $2.5 million bond since his Sept. 15 arrest in the border town of Laredo.

Authorities have said the victims were sex workers whom Ortiz targeted for their vulnerability. He was arrested almost two weeks after the first slaying after a woman escaped from him and asked a state trooper for help.

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