By Steve Neavling
The capital murder trial of a former supervisory Border Patrol agent who is accused of being a serial killer is set to begin with opening statements Monday.
Juan David Ortiz, a 10-year veteran of the agency, was arrested in September 2018 after authorities say he confessed to killing four sex workers in the area around Laredo, Tex.
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.
According to prosecutors, Ortiz said his motivation had been to “clean up the streets of Laredo by targeting this community of individuals who he perceived to be disposable.”
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.
The trial is expected to take two weeks.