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Insanity defense by accused homeless killer 'won't fly,' D.A. says

January 18, 2012 |  6:24 pm

Orange County’s top prosecutor said he’s prepared for a former Marine accused of killing four homeless men to put up an insanity defense or claim he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and should be found not guilty in the string of killings.

“But that’s not going to fly,” said Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas.

Itzcoatl Ocampo, who appeared on a jail video monitor Wednesday during a brief court hearing, has not entered a plea.

The 23-year-old appeared somber and spoke only when he said “yes, your honor” when the judge asked him a question during the hearing.

Ocampo, who served a stint in Iraq, is accused of hunting down and fatally stabbing homeless men in north Orange County during a weeks-long string of slayings that authorities claim became more furious with each attack.

Ocampo was arrested Friday after the latest homeless killing.

Rackauckas said he expected an insanity defense of some sort because “how many ways can you go with a defense” in a case like this.

Ocampo's attorney, Randall Longwith, said he has spent no more than “15 seconds” with him and had not come to any conclusion of what defense he would mount.

Longwith said during that brief meeting that Ocampo was wrapped in “a suicide blanket” and that he had to kneel on the jail floor to talk through a “food slot” to communicate with his client.

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-- Hailey Branson-Potts and Steve Marble

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