Autopsy pics cause juror to faint

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Autopsy pics cause juror to faint

Shocking autopsy photos of four women allegedly killed by a former US Border Patrol agent were so graphic, they caused a juror to faint in court.

A male juror fell to the floor Monday as Webb County Medical Examiner Dr. Corinne Stern showed the photos of four women shot in the head and neck, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The photos were shown during the sixth day of testimony in the murder case of Juan David Ortiz in San Antonio, Texas. The ex-agent is accused of murdering four prostitutes during a 12-day killing spree in 2018. A fifth woman — who is a star witness at the trial — claims she would have been his next victim if she had not managed to escape.

Juan David Ortiz seen smiling in court
Ex-Border Patrol agent Juan David Ortiz is accused of killing four women in 2018.
AP
A photo of Claudine Ann Luera is held up in court
The victim’s families cried during court testimony about how their loved ones were murdered.
AP

A gasp was heard from the jury box as fellow jurors rushed over to help the unconscious man. The pale-looking juror was examined by the medical examiner, who determined that he was okay, and he was later excused from jury service. An alternate juror took his place.

The murders took place in the Texas border city of Laredo, but the trial was moved to San Antonio due to extensive media coverage. Prosecutors said Ortiz admitted to knowing three of the women he’s accused of killing. They claim Ortiz told investigators he would help them buy drugs, then have sex with them.

Family members wept in court as the medical examiner detailed the victims’ causes of death. Melissa Ramirez, 29, Claudine Anne Luera and Humberto Ortiz, 28 — a transgender woman who went by Janelle Ortiz — were all shot to death.

Lawyers look at the jury box after a male juror fainted while viewing autopsy photos Monday.
Lawyers look at the jury box after a male juror fainted while viewing autopsy photos Monday.
KSAT-TV
A gun believed to have been used in the killings was presented in court Monday.
A gun believed to have been used in the killings is presented in court Monday.
KSAT-TV

Guiselda Alicia Hernandez, 35, died of blunt force trauma to the head from an object the medical examiner was not able to identify. Their four bodies were discovered in rural Laredo in September 2018.

The fifth woman, Erika Pena, testified how Ortiz tried to shoot her while parked in his truck after an altercation with him. She was able to escape shirtless and ran to a Texas state trooper seeking help.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty for Ortiz, at the request of the victims’ families, who believe a death sentence would be “letting him off easy.”

Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to the crimes and the trial continues.

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