[UPDATED with New Not Guilty Plea:] Itzcoatl Ocampo, Serial Killer Suspect, Accused of 6 Fatal Stabbings

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Izzy Ocampo
UPDATE, FEB. 21, 11:40 A.M.: To give you the proper visual for this post, picture Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo at right with an al Qaeda beard. That's how he appeared in a Santa Ana courtroom this morning when he pleaded not guilty to the stabbing-murders of a mother, her son and four homeless men since Oct. 25, 2011.

How could the discharged Marine who was literally caught red-handed claim his innocence? His defense attorney explained his thinking to reporters outside court.

"I can tell you right now, he's cracked, he's ill, he's fractured. . . . he doesn't understand where he is or what his situation is," claimed Randall Longwith (via the Orange County Register).

And so, we have the makings of another not-guilty-by-reason-of-insanity defense in assigned Judge Francisco Briseno's courtroom, just as District Attorney Tony Rackauckas predicted. A March 9 pre-trial hearing has been set.

This was Ocampo's second not guilty plea, the first having come when he was arraigned or the murders of four homeless men since Dec. 20. The second plea became necessary when the Orange County Grand Jury indicted the 23-year-old last week for those murders and the slayings about a mile from his Yorba Linda home of a mother and her adult son last October. Several victims pinned on Ocampo were stabbed 30-40 times.

UPDATE, FEB. 16, 4:23 P.M.: The Orange County Grand Jury today indicted Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo for the stabbing-murders of a mother, her son and four homeless men since Oct. 25, 2011. The six felony counts of murder with special circumstances for multiple murders and lying in wait--plus sentencing enhancements for personal use of a deadly weapon, a knife, during the commission of a crime--make the Yorba Linda 23-year-old eligible for life in state prison without the possibility of parole or, possibly, the death penalty with a conviction.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has yet to decide whether to seek the death penalty or convene a special panel within his office to recommended such a penalty.

In the meantime, Ocampo is to arraigned Tuesday in Santa Ana on the grand jury indictment, which will speed up justice because no preliminary hearing will be necessary. The young man is being held without bail.

Eder Giovanni Herrera
UPDATE, FEB. 6, 4:22 P.M.: Federal immigration officials freed Eder Giovanni Herrera on his own recognizance.

"ICE's case review showed Mr. Herrera had not had any prior immigration enforcement encounters, nor did he have a criminal history, aside from the charges which were just dismissed," reads a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Herrera's immigration problems may not be over, however.

UPDATE, FEB, 6, 1:14 P.M.: Though Eder Giovanni Herrera has been released from custody for the murder of his mother, 53-year-old Raquel Estrada, and his 34-year-old brother, Juan Herrera, he has not been released from custody.

After Orange County sheriff's deputies cut loose the 24-year-old, he was immediately scooped up by federal immigration officials who are now holding Herrera in a detention facility. That means he's suspected of violating either an immigration law or another law that would warrant deportation proceedings.

Meanwhile, today's arraignment of Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo for allegedly murdering Raquel Estrada and Juan Herrera was continued to March 16. He, the victims and the former suspect all lived within a mile of one another in Yorba Linda.

UPDATE, FEB, 4, 10:01 A.M.: DNA evidence links accused serial killer Itzcoatl "Izzy" Ocampo to the fatal stabbings of 53-year-old Raquel Estrada and her son Juan Herrera, 34--just as it clears Eder Giovanni Herrera of the same crimes, according to the district attorney. In announcing that new charges would be filed against 23-year-old Ocampo and dropped against Eder Herrera, 24, DA Tony Rackauckas explained what led authorities to suspect each former student of Esperanza High School in Yorba Linda.

Brea Police investigating the Oct. 25 murders of the mother and son in their Yorba Linda home had reason to suspect Herrera moved at least one body, placed the 9-1-1 call alerting cops to the murders and acted strangely in the hours afterward.

"At this point, we have not conclusively eliminated Mr. Herrera as a suspect in this case," Rackauckas said at a quickly arranged press conference Friday evening. "We will continue to investigate this case."

Here are specifics on why the DA's office filed double murder charges against Herrera on Oct. 27, according to Rackauckas:

"A witness saw a person he believed to be Herrera, dragging something from the front door threshold into the house. Based on blood evidence at the scene, it appeared that victim Juan Herrera had attempted to escape out the front door before being dragged back inside.

"There was no evidence of forced entry into the home.

"Herrera spent the evening driving around randomly with a friend. His behavior was suspicious. Law enforcement had evidence to believe that Herrera was in the area at the approximate time the 9-1-1 call was placed.

"Video surveillance from a CVS showed a person resembling Herrera walking past the CVS close to the time of the 9-1-1 call. The call was placed from a nearby pay phone. The person captured on video was wearing shoes with a distinctive pattern on the side that appeared to match those that Herrera was wearing at the time of his arrest.

"Herrera and his friend drove past Herrera's home and observed the police and crime scene investigation in front of the home.

"Herrera did not want to stop to check on his family. At the urging of his friend, Herrera called his brother and mother, but was unable to reach them on their cell phones.

"Despite these events, Herrera made no further effort to check on his mother and brother."

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They held Herrera in jail for 3 months because he acted "suspiciously."  All that the DA had against this guy was that he drove by his house with a friend and saw the commotion and didn't want to stop, per Tony Rauckauckas.  Well, being that he might not be a legal citizen, that kind of makes sense to not want to walk in a home with a bunch of cops and face deportation.   I bet if Ocampo was never caught and the victim's DNA found in his home this guy would have been convicted and taken the fall for Special Circumstances First Degree Murder! Crazy!  Goes along with my belief that just because you are charged doesn't make you guilty...especially in Orange County!!!

Greg Nelson
Greg Nelson

Got to hand it to the Brea PD!

Kill one innocent guy and arrest another.

But, I guess this has nothing to do with the "culture of corruption".......

Jn Brown
Jn Brown

reminds me of the arrest of the guy who didn't assault the guy at the game. i think the sherriff said they gad to arrest him to prove he was innocent. arrest anybody call it good.  3 months and they didn't know there was no blood in the car.  right

Corruption Fighter
Corruption Fighter

OCDA Releases man wrongly suspected of murder (OC)

Date: 2012-02-04, 7:00PM PSTReply to: your anonymous craigslist address will appear here

So here we go again, the OCDA keeps a man in jail for 3 months until they find out they wrongly suspected him of murdering someone! Now, I dont even know this man that was released today but I have to tell you it sickens me to see the OCDA get away with this crap.So what does Tony Rackauckas do? Does he simply say "were sorry" Rackauckas was probably home today having a beer or out to dinner when this poor man was released from the Orange County Jail today after 3 MONTHS behind bars.Folks, this is NOT AN ISOLATED INCIDENT!Its easy for the OCDA to keep this wrongly suspected man behind bars for 3 months and do you know why??? BECAUSE IT WAS NOT THEM OR SOMEONE THEY CARED ABOUT PERSONALLY!!!!Can you imagine this poor mans reputation will never be repaired! The long period of trauma he experienced at the hands of abusive OC Sheriffs Deputies at the Orange County Jail for 3 months!I am so sick and tired of Law Enforcement corruption, lies, false reports, and on and on and on it makes me SICK!Shame on you AGAIN TONY RACKAUCKAS! And we all know this screw up is not the only one. How many others past and present have gone through an identical situation you SOB 

OC Injustice
OC Injustice

Another press conference staring our illustrious DA and another innocent person placed behind bars in OC.

Great job, Brea PD (and supporting law enforcement agencies). Fucking slapdicks.  

mitch young
mitch young

But did they release him? The whole thing seems hinky.


Pretty crazy if the brother/son is innocent.  It does go to show you that not all people arrested and charged are guilty.  I'm curious about the outcome on this one.


Not just the reputation of a person falsely incarcerated, after three months, what are they being released to? Landlords may not know if you are locked up for a week or two, but I doubt they are going to hold your home and possessions for three months! Especially if they think you are actually going to be convicted. 

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