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Crime & Justice

For serial stabbing murders, D.A. will seek death penalty for Itzcoatl Ocampo

Itzcoatl Ocampo.
Itzcoatl Ocampo.
Anaheim Police/AP

The Orange County District Attorney will seek the death penalty against 24-year-old former Marine Itzcoatl Ocampo for the stabbing-murder of a mother and her son, and for murdering four homeless men in a "serial thrill-kill spree," according to a news release on Monday. 

Ocampo, held without bail, is charged with six felony counts of murder with special circumstances for multiple murders and lying in wait and sentencing enhancements for personal use of a deadly weapon, a knife, during the commission of a crime. 

A jury trial is scheduled for Sept. 10 in Santa Ana.  

More than 200 witnesses were interviewed before and after the arrest by the FBI, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Anaheim Police Department, Brea Police Department, and Placentia Police Department.

The accused killer revealed that he selected his victims based on availability and vulnerability, and intended to build a "kill list" of 16 names, according to the grand jury transcript released in March.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the OCDA Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case. 

California law permits the D.A. to seek the death penalty if "the aggravating factors substantially outweigh the mitigating factors. Aggravating factors are any facts above and beyond the circumstances of crime that increases the wrongfulness of the defendant’s conduct, the enormity of the offense, or the harmful impact of the crime," notes the OC D.A.'s announcement.