NE Portland murder suspect laughs when read charges

Alexander Rico Ortiz, 33, is accused of killing Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 33-year-old man accused of aggravated murder laughed when officials read him the charges that were being filed.

Alexander Rico Ortiz, 33, is accused of killing Eleazar "Tony" Herrera Villegas.

Ortiz was arraigned Monday morning by Multnomah County Circuit Judge Julie E. Franz. He was escorted by 6 Multnomah County deputies. A criminal defense attorney entered a not guilty plea.

Herrera Villegas' ex-wife, Cathy Caulford spoke and said, "[Ortiz] committed a horrific crime. He took a great father from two wonderful kids and a wonderful family. He was the most loving father and I just hope that when this is done the court locks him away for life."

Herrera Villegas' niece told the court that he was the youngest in a "very large family." She said, "we are extremely upset and we miss him."

The homicide took place February 27 in the 8300 block of Northeast Sandy Blvd. Police said Herrera Villegas' girlfriend found his body inside the his apartment.

When police responded, they found Herrera Villegas had died as a result of his injuries. They also found Herrera Villegas' dog had been killed.

According to court records, when Ortiz was being booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center following his arrest on Friday night in Hillsboro, he was "laughing" when jail staff read him the charges detectives had filed against him. Ortiz also reportedly argued with jail staff about which charges were out of which jurisdiction.

Ortiz has 5 felony convictions, 2 misdemeanor convictions and 11 probation violations, according to his criminal record. Authorities said Ortiz has been charged and convicted in Oregon for recklessly endangering, first-degree burglary, second-degree robbery, first-degree theft, third-degree sexual abuse, fourth-degree assault and attempted first-degree rape.

The attempted first-degree rape case took place in December 2013 in Washington County, according to court documents. His conviction is currently under review by the Oregon Court of Appeals.

As of December 5, 2014, Ortiz is a registered sex offender, according to court documents. He does not appear on the public website maintained by Oregon State Police. An OSP spokesperson was not immediately available to confirm why. According to court documents, the last time he registered was in November 2016. He gave an address in Hillsboro.

Ortiz, who also goes by the name of "Joel Ortiz,"  is facing charges out of Washington County for a rape that happened in February. Details of that case have not been released. An affidavit that details the probable cause detectives have developed on Ortiz in the rape case has been sealed.

Prior to Herrera Villegas' death, Ortiz was accused of raping a woman at a nearby hotel.

Ortiz is charged with aggravated murder because detectives believe he killed Herrera Villegas in the immediate flight after committing the rape, according to court documents.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Detective Mark Slater at 503-823-9319, Mark.Slater@portlandoregon.gov or Detective Erik Kammerer at 503-823-0762, Eriik.Kammerer@portlandoregon.gov.


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