Closing Arguments Set in Trial of Accused Border Patrol Agent-Turned-Serial Killer

Former Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Juan David Ortiz

By Steve Neavling

Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday in the trial of former Border Patrol Agent Juan David Ortiz, who is accused of killing four women in Laredo, Texas, in September 2018. 

The murder trial of Juan David Ortiz began on Nov. 28. 

During the trial, prosecutors played a recording for jurors of Ortiz allegedly confessing. He said he wanted to “clean up the streets” of sex workers, whom he referred to as “trash” and “so dirty.”

One juror fainted when shown the autopsy photos.

The victims were Guiselda Alicia Hernandez, 34, Claudine Anne Luera, 42, Janelle Ortiz, 28, and Melissa Ramirez, 29. 

Ortiz found the women on the side of the road and killed them in rural parts of Webb County, prosecutors said.

Ortiz was arrested after a sex worker who suspected Ortiz had killer her friend was in a white pickup truck with the alleged killer when he pulled out a gun and grabbed her shirt. She managed to escape, and he fled.

The woman flagged down a state trooper, and after a pursuit, police found the 35-year-old hiding in a hotel parking lot at 2:30 a.m.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty but changed their minds after speaking to the victims’ families, who unanimously preferred that he spend the rest of his life in prison. 

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