Trial of Juan David Ortiz enters day 7

Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 10:35 AM CST
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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) -The trial for the former Border Patrol agent accused of killing four women entered its seventh day.

In day 7 of the trial of Juan David Ortiz, it was the defense’ turn to question Texas Ranger E.J. Salinas, one of the two officers who interrogated Ortiz in 2018.

Ranger Salinas was asked about his technique when interrogating a suspect of a crime and the choice of words used when Ortiz was interviewed.

During the cross examination, Ortiz attorney argued that Ortiz was “promised” several things during the interrogation in exchange for his alleged confession.

The items include a picture of Ortiz’s family.

Another matter discussed was the search of Ortiz truck before and after it was seized by authorities the night of his arrest.

Jurors also saw for the first-time dash cam video of officers around Ortiz’s truck that was still parked at the Stripes on San Bernardo the night of his arrest.

After Ranger Salinas, the state called to the stand Sean Daniel a member of the New Mexico Public Safety Department.

In 2018, Daniel was employed with the Texas Public Safety Department as a forensic scientist in the firearms & toolmark section.

The jurors heard how Daniel tested Ortiz’s firearm to compare the bullets submitted by the state versus the ones he was able to test.

During cross examination, Ortiz’ defense questioned Daniel training and the conclusions drawn during his analysis on the Ortiz weapon and the ammunition.

The jurors were excused shortly before noon with the trial to continue at 1 p.m.

After recess, the state called Dr. Jenny Lounsbury a forensic scientist for the Texas Department of Public Safety.

The tire impressions on Ortiz’s vehicle was analyzed and whether they matched the tire impressions left at the crime scenes.

Afterwards a Webb County employee, Dana Saquiz, took the stand; she works in the intelligence center at the Webb County Jail.

Saquiz testified about how phone calls are recorded at the jail and presented a CD of the records of Ortiz’s phone calls.

One of the CD’s is about Ortiz’s conversation with his family and his regret of making a statement.

In the CD, Ortiz asks his family to ask his attorneys if they can “suppress it.”

The second is a conversation Ortiz had with his wife about the court proceedings, a book and challenges whoever is listening to the call that he is not suicidal.

During the recording, he compared his case to another national headliner, Casey Anthony, the woman found not guilty in the death of her daughter in Florida.

In cross examination, Saquiz was questioned by the defense if she knew whose voice was in the recording and if she was a voice expert.

The conversations of Ortiz with his family were played in the courtroom without the jurors present.

Ortiz is heard talking to his family on what he does daily in jail, his faith, and their hope for the future.

Another clip played in court is of Ortiz’s children talking to Ortiz.

That conversation caused Ortiz to breakdown in court.

Judge Oscar Hale allowed some of jailhouse conversation to be played for the jurors.

Ortiz’s attorney requested a motion for an instructed verdict, he alleged that the state failed to prove the indictment beyond a reasonable doubt.

The defense had been challenging the search of the truck and called it illegal.

The state responded there was a “mountain of evidence” against Ortiz and challenged the defense’s motion.

The defense’s motion was denied.

Closing arguments will begin on Wednesday at 9 a.m.

Ortiz faces life in prison without chance of parole if convicted.

KGNS News will have a team in San Antonio, and we will bring you the latest coverage on this trial.

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