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A U.S. Border Patrol agent in Texas has pleaded not guilty to capital murder and other charges in the September 2018 killings of four women who prosecutors say were sex workers.
Juan David Ortiz, 35, entered the pleas Thursday before a judge in the border city of Laredo, Texas.
Pleas - Ortiz - December - Jury - Indictment
The pleas follow Ortiz's December grand jury indictment on one count of capital murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful restraint and evading arrest.
The charge was upgraded from four counts of murder, as a capital murder pertains to a person 'intentionally or knowingly' causing the death of more than one person, Webb County District Attorney Isidro R. Alaniz said in December, according to NBC News.
Ortiz - Melissa - Ramirez - September - Claudine
Ortiz is accused of killing Melissa Ramirez, 29, on September 3 and Claudine Luera, 42, on September 6. Police believe that Ortiz also killed Guiselda Alicia Hernandez, 35, and transgender woman Janelle Ortiz, 28, around September 14.
Each woman was shot in the head and left along rural Laredo-area roads. One died of blunt force trauma after being shot.
Ortiz - September - Women - Workers - Problems
Ortiz was arrested on September 15 and confessed to killing the four women — alleged to be sex workers or have problems with drugs — during the two week period, according to an affidavit.
Ortiz supposedly told police...
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