Accused El Rancho family killer to stand trial

Nicholas Ortiz
Nicholas Ortiz

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – A judge says there is enough evidence to warrant a trial for the man charged in the slayings of an El Rancho family.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports District Judge Francis Mathew issued the ruling Wednesday after hearing testimony from witnesses for the prosecution who say they heard Nicholas Ortiz talk about the killings.

Police say Ortiz killed Dixie and Lloyd Ortiz and their special-needs adult son, Steven, with a pickax. The suspect was not related to the Ortiz family.

Sgt. Kraig Bobnock testified that lab results are pending on a sock and bed sheet found near the property.

Defense lawyer Dan Marlowe argued there was no physical evidence found at crime scene linking Ortiz to the killings, and that $80,000 remained in a safe at the home.

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