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Homeless killings in OC: Prosecutors to seek death penalty

Itzcoatl Ocampo, the former Marine accused of stabbing four homeless men to death, appears at an arraignment hearing at a Santa Ana court on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012.
May 21, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Orange County prosecutors announced on Monday that they will seek the death penalty against a former Marine in the murders of four homeless men and two others.

Itzcoatl Ocampo of Yorba Linda is charged with six felony counts of murder with special circumstances. He is being held without bail.

The 24-year-old served an eight-month deployment in Iraq in 2008 and was discharged in 2010. According to secret grand jury testimony, Ocampo reportedly joined the Marine Corps because "he needed to kill." Ocampo said he was disappointed when he did not see any combat during a tour of duty because he became a truck driver instead of a killer, court documents state.

Ocampo has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 10.

The homeless murders took place in Orange County over a three-week period starting in December 2011. Ocampo was arrested following the stabbing death of the fourth homeless man outside a Carl's Jr. restaurant in Anaheim on Jan. 13.

Ocampo is also charged with stabbing to death a mother and son in Yorba Linda last October. Unlike the homeless victims, authorities allege Ocampo knew 53-year-old Raquel Estrada and her 34-year-old son Juan Herrera through Estrada's younger son.


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