“In this case,” Alaniz said, “he preyed on the weak, the sick and the vulnerable.” A county grand jury returned the indictment on the…
“In this case,” Alaniz said, “he preyed on the weak, the sick and the vulnerable.”
A county grand jury returned the indictment on the federal murder charge Wednesday, according to Alaniz. He was also indicted on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of unlawful restraint with reckless exposure to serious bodily injury and evading arrest or detention.
Alaniz said the Texas Penal code allows a lone capital murder count if the defendant carried out multiple murders “pursuant to the same scheme or course of conduct.”
“Ortiz, by day, he was a family man,” the prosecutor told reporters. “The evidence shows that he was a supervisor. That he would go about his daily activities like anybody here. He appeared normal by all accounts and circumstances. At the nighttime, he was someone else, hunting the streets of San Bernardo for this community of people and arbitrarily deciding who he was going to kill next.”
Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of US Customs and Border Protection, was originally charged with four counts of first-degree murder.
There was no immediate comment from an attorney for Ortiz.
His bond was set at 2.5 million dollars. Capital murder is punishable by death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Ortiz, a supervisory Border Patrol agent with access to US Customs and Border Protection intelligence, had been holding Peña at gunpoint, but she got away and ran to a state trooper who was fueling up at a nearby gas station.
An unlikely escape, a surprising arrest
Peña’s family says it’s a miracle she’s alive.

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