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Ex-Marine is indicted by O.C. grand jury in serial killings

February 16, 2012 |  4:49 pm

Itzcoatl Ocampo
A man accused of a "serial thrill-kill spree" of four homeless men and a woman and her son was indicted Thursday by the Orange County grand jury.

Ex-Marine Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, was indicted on six felony counts of murder with special circumstances for lying in wait and multiple murders.

Ocampo is accused of stabbing four homeless men to death between Dec. 20 and Jan. 13. Prosecutors say each victim was stabbed in the upper body. One man had been stabbed more than 60 times.

Ocampo was arrested Jan. 13 after fleeing from an Anaheim Carl’s Jr., the scene of the fourth stabbing. The killings sent Orange County’s homeless into shelters and left many fearing for their lives.

About two weeks later, Ocampo was linked to the Oct. 25 killings of Raquel Estrada and her son Juan Herrera. Investigators found a match between DNA evidence at the scene of the killings and items taken from Ocampo’s Yorba Linda home.

Previously, Estrada’s son Eder Herrera was accused of the crimes.

Ocampo also faces a sentencing enhancement for the use of a knife during the crimes. He is eligible for the death penalty, but Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas has said that his office will make that decision at a later date.

If convicted, Ocampo faces a minimum of life in state prison without the possibility of parole.  Arraignment is scheduled at 9 a.m. Feb. 21 in Santa Ana.


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Photo: Former Marine Itzcoatl Ocampo appears in court Jan. 18. At right is Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times