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Four murder counts filed against accused O.C. homeless killer

January 17, 2012 | 11:40 am

The Orange County district attorney filed four counts of murder against Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo, a Yorba Linda man accused of slaying four homeless men over the last month
The Orange County district attorney today filed four counts of murder against a Yorba Linda man accused of slaying four homeless men over the last month.

If convicted, Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo, 23, would be eligible for the death penalty, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said at a news conference, but no decision has been reached on whether prosecutors will seek to send the suspect to death row.

Ocampo was arrested Friday after he was chased down by two men in the wake of the stabbing death of John Berry, 64, behind an Anaheim fast-food restaurant. The stabbing is believed to be the fourth in a string of slayings that had left the homeless community on edge.

Ocampo, a former Marine who had served in Iraq, has been held without bail on a psychological watch at Orange County Jail in Santa Ana since he was detained.

The victims were identified as James Patrick McGillivray, 53, killed in Placentia on Dec. 20; Lloyd Middaugh, 42, who was found in Anaheim on Dec. 28; Paulus Smit, 57, in Yorba Linda on Dec. 30; and Berry.

Each victim was stabbed dozens of times, one more than 60 times, the district attorney said.

Prosecutors have labeled the case a "serial murder spree" but have not said whether they've pinpointed a motive. Ocampo's attorney on Monday said he'd yet to talk with his client, and had grown frustrated that authorities had prevented him from talking to Ocampo.

Ocampo was said by family and friends to have been increasingly troubled after he returned from a six-month stint in Iraq. They also described a young man who was unusually charitable and gave freely to the homeless.

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-- Nicole Santa Cruz and Hailey Branson-Potts in Santa Ana

Photo: Itzcoatl Ocampo. Credit: Anaheim Police Department

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