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Juror faints during autopsy report in murder trial of ex-border patrol agent Juan David Ortiz

Melissa Ramirez's family members became visibly shaken while listening to the autopsy report. She was shot multiple times.
Credit: KENS 5

SAN ANTONIO — Week two begins in the murder trial of the ex-Border Patrol agent who's accused of being a serial killer.

Juan David Ortiz confessed to killing four women four years ago. The defense claims that confession was coerced.

The prosecution introduced Webb County Medical Examiner Dr. Corrine Stern to the witness stand Monday morning. 

Stern has completed more than 7,000 autopsies in her career and four of them happened in September 2018.

Victims' families watched from the gallery as Stern guided the jury through autopsy reports.

The prosecution displayed photos of the victims' bodies, bullet fragments and Ortiz's pistol. 

Stern detailed the conditions of Melissa Ramirez, Claudine Anne Luera, Griselda Alicia Hernandez Cantu, and Janelle Enriquez Ortiz.

Stern noted 29-year-old Ramirez was shot multiple times and positively identified through fingerprints.

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Ramirez's family members became visibly shaken while listening to the autopsy report.

“She had a gunshot entrance wound. It was on the right side of the jaw in the mandible. The wound path was from right to left and down," Stern said.

Texas Ranger EJ Salinas also took the witness stand, answering questions about the murder investigation and eventual confession by Ortiz.

One of the jurors fainted during the autopsy report section of the court proceeding and was dismissed for the rest of the day.

The victims were all killed in Laredo, but Ortiz is on trial here in San Antonio because of a change of venue.

Last week jurors watched video from the ten-hour interrogation during which Ortiz confessed to the killings.

Those crimes happened over a two-week span in September of 2018.

All four victims were sex workers.

During the taped interrogation, Ortiz expressed his dislike for the women which fueled his drive to kill.

"I was like you know what these people, they're not good people so I convinced myself of that," said Ortiz.

Ortiz's defense team argues investigators coerced his confession.

His attorney questioned whether law enforcement ignored Ortiz's fifth amendment right to stay silent.

We'll be following every development in this trial.

The trial will resume Tuesday morning at 8:30 and be livestreamed on KENS5.com


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