LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas announced Tuesday that criminal charges are being filed against an Iraq war veteran accused of murdering four homeless men in Orange County.
Itzcoatl Ocampo, of Yorba Linda, has been charged with four counts of murder with special circumstance allegations of multiple murders lying in wait. Rackauckas says a decision has not been made on whether to seek the death penalty.
“This 23-year-old young man was a vicious killer…a monster,” Rackauckas said.
Ocampo was arrested Friday after he allegedly stabbed 64-year-old Vietnam veteran John Berry to death. All of Ocampo’s alleged victims were stabbed at least a dozen times with a seven-inch KA-BAR knife made of heavy metal, Rackauckas said.
His father, Refugio Ocampo, tried to meet with his son at the Orange County jail Monday, but was turned away because Ocampo is in isolation on medical hold.
Ocampo says his son returned from Iraq a changed man, expressing disillusionment as he struggled to find his way.
“He started talking about stuff that didn’t make any sense to me, like the end of the world. Something big coming, like a big war, a big war,” Ocampo said.
However, he maintains his son is innocent and was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“The authorities basically have been criminalizing him,” he told CBS2. “Make my son look like a criminal, like a monster.”
Ocampo is expected to be arraigned 9 a.m. Wednesday.