Prosecutors Seek Death Penalty for Border Patrol Agent Accused of 4 Murders

Published on December 5, 2018 by Athena Pallas

Today prosecutors in the case of a border patrol agent charged with four murders announced that they would be seeking the death penalty in the case. The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agent in question, Juan David Ortiz, allegedly killed four female sex workers, saying after his capture that he did so “to clean up the streets” of Laredo, Texas, according to The Hill, because he believed that the police were not doing a good enough job. Ortiz was apprehended after a fifth woman, whom he had attempted to abduct, escaped from him. The four alleged murders occurred over the course of a couple weeks in September. Given Ortiz’s alleged attempted abduction of an additional woman, it seems likely that he planned to continue what might be described as a murder spree. According to The Hill:

Prosecutors reportedly said Wednesday they plan to seek the death penalty for a former border patrol agent accused of killing four women. Webb County District Attorney Isidro Alaniz said at a press conference that Juan David Ortiz has been charged with capital murder in the case after he admitted to killing the women and leaving their bodies on the side of the road in Laredo, Texas…Authorities said that Ortiz knew most of his victims. Over the course of a couple weeks in September, Ortiz allegedly killed Melissa Ramirez, 29, Claudine Luera, 42, Guiselda Alicia Cantu, 35, and Janelle Ortiz, 28.Ortiz was arrested in mid-September after a woman he was allegedly trying to kidnap escaped and notified a state trooper. He was later apprehended in the parking lot of a Laredo hotel after fleeing from authorities.

Upon his arrest, Ortiz was immediately suspended without pay from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and CBP has indicated that they are cooperating completely with other law enforcement agencies in the case. Sadly, criminality and psychopathology find their way into occupations of all types, yet it is particularly disconcerting in a law enforcement official, who is supposed to be on the other side of a crime. Plus, the current reputation of the Border Patrol under President Trump is rather tarnished in the wake of Trump’s former separation policy and current policy of keeping entire immigrant families, including their children, in detention for extended periods. The additional news that a Border Patrol agent allegedly murdered four women and attempted to abduct a fifth woman further harms that already tarnished reputation.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons.