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OC serial killer suspect arraignment delayed

February 6, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Arraignment was postponed on Monday for the man accused of killing four Orange County homeless men and a mother and son in Yorba Linda.

Itzcoatl Ocampo faces charges in connection with the stabbing deaths of 53-year-old Raquel Estrada and her 34-year-old son Juan Herrera in their Yorba Linda home Oct. 25.

"When I talked to him at the jail, a large portion of our conversations are, 'When am I going to be able to see my family?" said Ocampo's defense attorney, Randall Longwith.

Investigators say Estrada was stabbed more than 30 times and her son was stabbed more than 60 times.

Estrada's 24-year-old son, Eder Herrera, was arrested and charged with killing his mother and brother. Those charges were dropped when prosecutors say DNA evidence linked the killings to Ocampo.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said although there isn't sufficient evidence to hold Herrera, he has not been conclusively eliminated from the case.

Police say the mother and son were killed in similar manners to four Orange County homeless men Ocampo is charged with killing.

Police say all of the victims have a substantial number of stab wounds to the upper body.

Eder Herrera and Ocampo were high school friends and lived about a mile from each other when Herrera's mother and brother were killed.

Ocampo, a former Marine, is accused of stalking the four homeless men he's charged with murdering. These new murder charges now expand the case to people he knew, not just strangers.

"What this says about him is that he's a vicious killer," said Rackauckas.

"These two cases do not fit. I don't believe it's going to turn out that this was my client," said Longwith.

Ocampo served an eight-month deployment in Iraq and was discharged from the Marines in 2010. In addition to the two new murder charges, Ocampo is expected to receive special circumstance charges, which make him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

He is set to be arraigned March 16.