Valencia murder suspect returns to court

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies canvass the area surrounding a murder scene in Valencia on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Austin Dave/The Signal.

A Valencia man accused of strangling his boyfriend in 2017 appeared in court Monday for a pretrial conference setting.

Christian Alexander Ortiz, 23, is charged with murder in the death of Brayan Rodriguez.

On Thursday, he appeared at the San Fernando Courthouse, and is scheduled to return once again on March 23 for another pretrial conference, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Ortiz was arrested on suspicion of murder in the early morning hours 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, the day before.

Rodriguez, who was 20 years old at the time of his murder, was reported missing on Sept. 22, 2017, resulting in a number of searches to find him throughout the weekend.

Ortiz’s trial has been a long process, with a number of delays and postponenents pushing any appearance in front of a jury further and further back.

In Oct. 2018, after Ortiz’s preliminary hearing was postponed four times, a judge ruled that Ortiz should stand trial for the murder.

Ortiz remains in custody in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility with bail set at $2 million.

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