Prosecutor: Man pleads not guilty to 2 killings in Escondido

Published 08-15-2018

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - A man accused of killing his ex-wife and her sister in Escondido has pleaded not guilty.

Deputy District Attorney Jodi Breton said in a phone interview Tuesday that 33-year-old Juan Carlos Ortega pleaded not guilty in a Vista courtroom to two counts of murder, two counts of felony child abuse and arson of property.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a complaint filed in the case shows that Ortega is also facing special-circumstance allegations of lying in wait and multiple murders, meaning the District Attorney's Office can seek the death penalty if Ortega is convicted.

Authorities found Ana Soto and Ortega's ex-wife and Soto's sister, Veronica, dead last week.

Investigators don't believe anyone else was involved in the killings.

Attempts to reach Ortega's lawyer by phone were unsuccessful.

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Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune, http://www.utsandiego.com

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Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune, http://www.utsandiego.com

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