OAKLAND — A 38-year-old man remains in jail and is accused of murdering his girlfriend in a local hotel room last August, despite his attorney’s attempts to convince a judge that she killed herself.
Juan Gonzalez-Ortega, of Oakland, is accused of killing Delicia Elizabeth Ojeda, a lover whom Gonzalez-Ortega had both accused of infidelity and threatened shortly before her death, according to prosecutors. During Gonzalez-Ortega’s preliminary hearing, the defense argued that Ojeda’s death was a suicide and that the location of his single gunshot wound proved it.
Ojeda was shot and killed at a North Oakland hotel in the 300 block of West MacArthur Boulevard around 11:20 a.m. on August 2. The medical examiner ruled that she was killed by a single bullet from a gun held beneath her. Chin, which caused brain damage but did not immediately kill her, according to police testimony at the October preliminary hearing. The pathologist told police that suicide and homicide were possible.
These findings were consistent with the statement of a hotel guest who was staying in the next room and who said he was about to walk his dog when he heard “fighting” followed by a gunshot wound. in the adjacent room. Then he heard Ojeda “screaming for his family.”
“She was yelling at her mother, I think. And his sister,” the man testified. “It was the kind of screaming you don’t want to hear.”
Oakland police Detective Thomas Quezada said the two had argued in text messages before Ojeda’s death, with her calling him a “coward” and accusing him of infidelity with a man named Leo, whom Gonzalez-Ortega also contacted, Quezada said.
“You will never experience true love like mine. You never will,” a message from Ojeda to Gonzalez-Ortega read, according to Quezada.
During cross-examination, Quezada testified that Ojeda had linear scars on both of his wrists, but the judge did not allow defense attorney Alanna Coopersmith to ask the detective if these were from an attempt to suicide, ruling that the question asked Quezada to speculate. .
At the end of the hearing, Coopersmith argued that the prosecution had failed to eliminate suicide as a viable theory.
“The gun was pressed against the bottom of his chin. Of course, that amounts to suicide as we all know,” she said. “I don’t see any reason to kill there. I don’t see any intention to kill. I don’t see a confession.
Judge Mark McCannon, however, noted other testimony supported by video, which established that Gonzalez-Ortega left the hotel immediately after the shooting and covered his face in an apparent attempt to avoid detection, that a fight had preceded the homicide and that the coroner ruled that both homicide and suicide were possible.
“That’s what I have,” McCannon said before deciding the case could go to trial. “There’s reason to stop him from responding based on what I’ve heard.”
Additional Resource: If you or someone you know is struggling with feelings of depression or suicidal thoughts, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free 24-hour support, information and support resources. Reach for the Lifeline to 988 or visit SuicidePreventionLifeline.org
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