Retrial in El Rancho killings case underway

Nicholas Ortiz
Nicholas Ortiz

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The second trial of a man charged in the slayings of an El Rancho family is underway.

Opening statements started Tuesday in the trial of Nicholas Ortiz, who is accused is accused of killing Dixie and Lloyd Ortiz and their special-needs adult son, Steven, with a pickax in 2011. The suspect was not related to the Ortiz family.

This is Ortiz’s second trial, as a jury failed to reach a unanimous decision in June on the three counts of murder. The jury also failed to reach a unanimous decision on charges of aggravated burglary with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit burglary.

In opening statements, defense attorneys again cited the lack of physical evidence typing Ortiz to the crime. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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