Juan David Ortiz trial: Day 6

Published: Dec. 5, 2022 at 10:43 AM CST
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BEXAR COUNTY, TX (KGNS) - The trial for accused serial killer and former Border Patrol agent, Juan David Ortiz has entered the second week.

During Monday’s trial, officials went over each piece of evidence collected as well as the autopsy that was conducted on the victims.

On Monday, the state brought back Brandon Stern, a Webb County Sheriff Deputy currently assigned to the mental health division for the office; he had previously testified during day 2 of the trial.

Deputy Stern had been with the office for only 3 weeks and was assigned to the evidence division where he assisted with collecting evidence in the death of Griselda Hernandez on September 15, 2018.

According Stern, the evidence collected at that scene were 3 bullet casing plus bullet fragments at mile marker 22 on I-35.

Ortiz’s defense asked Stern on the process of collecting the evidence and if a diagram was created to show where the evidence was collected from and who collected it.

The state then called to the stand, Jose Ugarte, a Texas A&M International University Police Officer.

In September 2018, Ugarte worked at the Webb County Sheriff’s Office as a crime scene investigator and assisted in the evidence room.

He had taken pictures of the evidence of the crime scene of Melissa Ramirez; she was found on Jefferies Road on Sept. 3.

At the crime scene of Claudine Anne Luera, Ugarte collected several items that included a purse, a metal pipe, tire cast, cellphones, and bullet casings.

Photographs taken by Ugarte of the body of Janelle Ortiz were show to jurors.

Pictures of beer cans found inside Ortiz’s truck, a makeup bag, and pictures of Ortiz gun were also shown.

Another piece of evidence that was shown to jurors was the gun that is believed to be the murder weapon Ortiz used.

The defense questioned Ugarte where the evidence was taken, collected and who had possession of it through the course of the investigation.

The Webb County Medical Examiner Dr. Corrine Stern was called to the stand to describe her autopsy report of all the victims.

The first report was of Melissa Ramirez, the autopsy in her case was done Sept. 4, 2018, the day after she was found.

Ramirez had a gunshot wound to the jaw, neck and was believed to be dead for nearly 24 hours before arriving to Dr. Stern’s office.

The images of Ramirez in the autopsy room were shown to the jurors which included images of the bullets extracted from Ramirez’s body.

During Dr. Stern’s testimony, a juror passed out as the autopsy images of Ramirez were shown.

The jury was escorted out and asked to reconvene at 1:30 p.m.

You can watch KSAT’s Livestream coverage of the trial.

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