Preliminary hearing set in strangulation case

Crime scene tape marks the perimeter of a murder investigation in Valencia on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal

The case of a Valencia man accused of strangling his boyfriend finally has a preliminary hearing date set, after four previous tries, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Christian Alexander Ortiz, 22, charged with murder in the death of Brayan Rodriguez, appeared this week in San Fernando Superior Court to set a date for his formal hearing, and was told that date would be set next month.

“We finally have a preliminary hearing date and that date is Oct. 16,” Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Julie Kramer said Tuesday. During a preliminary hearing, prosecutors will present evidence in the case, and the defense can respond; the judge can then decide if the case should go to trial.

Over the course of the past year, defense lawyers have requested more time to prepare their case.

“They said they were ready today,” Kramer said.

Ortiz, who remains in custody in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility with bail set at $2 million, was arrested on suspicion of murder by deputies of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station about 3 a.m. on Sept. 25, 2017.

Rodriguez’s body was found inside a closet in a house on the 23600 block of Via Valer, near Valencia Glen Park, sometime before 4 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2017.

Rodriguez, 20, identified by prosecutors as the accused man’s boyfriend, was reported missing Sept. 22, 2017, prompting several searches to find him throughout that weekend.


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