Shocking autopsy photos of four women allegedly killed by a former US Border Patrol agent were so vivid they caused a judge to faint in court.
A male juror fell to the floor Monday as Webb County Medical Examiner Dr. Corinne Stern showed photos of four women shot to death in the head and neck. This was reported by the San Antonio Express-News.
The photos were shown on the sixth day of testimony in the murder of Juan David Ortiz in San Antonio, Texas. The former agent is accused of killing four prostitutes during a 12-day killing spree in 2018. A fifth woman, the star witness in the trial, claims she would have been his next victim if he hadn’t escaped.
A commotion was heard from the jury box as fellow judges rushed to help the unconscious man. The fair-skinned judge was examined by a medical examiner and found to be fine and later released from judicial duty. He was replaced by an alternate jury.
The murders took place in the border city of Laredo, Texas, but the trial was moved to San Antonio due to widespread media coverage. Prosecutors said Ortiz admitted to knowing the three women he is accused of killing. They said Ortiz told investigators he would help them buy drugs and then have sex with them.
Family members wept in court as the medical examiner detailed the victims’ causes of death. Melissa Ramirez, 29, Claudine Ann Luera, and Humberto Ortiz, 28 — a transgender woman referred by Janelle Ortiz — were all shot and killed.
Giselda Alicia Hernandez, 35, died of blunt force trauma to the head from what the medical examiner could not determine. Their four bodies were found in September 2018 in the village of Laredo.
A fifth woman, Erika Pena, testified how she tried to shoot Ortiz while he was parked in a truck after an argument. He managed to escape shirtless and ran to a Texas State Trooper for help.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty for Ortiz at the request of the victims’ families, who say the death penalty would be “an easy way out for him.”
Ortiz has pleaded not guilty to the crimes and the trial is ongoing.