Itzcoatl Ocampo, an Iraq War Veteran, accused of fatally stabbing four homeless men and a mother and son in Southern California has died.  Ocampo, 24, had fallen ill in Orange County Jail while awaiting trial and was transferred to Western Medical Center, after he was seen “shaking and vomiting” by deputies.

Ocampo was charged last year with four counts of first-degree murder.  He was also charged with the murders of a mother, Raquel Estrada, and brother, Juan Herrera, of an old friend.  They were both stabbed to death, 30 and 60 times respectively.  Their bodies were discovered on October 25, 2011 inside their home.

Eder Giovanni Herrera, the son of Estrada, 53, and brother of Herrera, 34, had originally been arrested and falsely accused of their murders.  His charges were dropped after prosecutors decided to seek the death penalty against Ocampo and add the murders of the mother and son to his charges.

“In each of these cases, the violence, the number of stabbing wounds of each victim, increased,” District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

Ocampo’s next court appearance was scheduled for January.  His death is under investigation.  An autopsy is set for next week.

The first homeless victim, James McGillivray, 53, was stabbed almost 40 times as he slept outside a shopping center on December 20, 2011.  Lloyd “Jim” Middaugh, 42, was stabbed to death a week later on the Santa Ana River Trail.  Paulus “Dutch” Smit, 57, was found stabbed to death in a stairwell behind a library two days after Middaugh’s death.  John Berry was stabbed to death on January 13, 2012.  Civilians witnessed the attack and chased the attacker into a nearby mobile home park.  Ocampo was apprehended there.

Ocampo served in the Marines from 2006 to 2010, including six months in Iraq.

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Comments
  1. Pitchforks says:

    These “sudden deaths” of controversial defendants are becoming a little too conveniently frequent…..

    Like

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