Violent felony SCV cases continued in the courts

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Three violent felony accusations had court dates this week, with no resolution in sight for any of them, according to the court’s schedule.

The cases involve a woman who was attacked while jogging on a Santa Clarita paseo and a pair of murder accusations that have been in the criminal justice system for multiple years: a 2017 alleged domestic violence-related killing by a man against his boyfriend, and a 2018 murder involving a man accused of killing a friend he met at a rehab facility.

Colton Ford

A case involving a 70-year-old jogger who was assaulted on a Santa Clarita bike path in September 2017 is unlikely to wrap up this year, based on court activity this week. 

On Sept. 3, Colton Ford, 28, was held to answer to one count of attempted willful, deliberate and premeditated murder with an allegation that the defendant inflicted great bodily injury upon a victim 70 years of age or older, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. 

Ford stands accused of crossing paths with the victim, then grabbing her and strangling her until she became unconscious, according to a previous statement from the District Attorney’s Office.

He’s due back in January for another pretrial hearing. 

Christian Ortiz

Ortiz, 24, of Valencia, was arrested Sept. 25, 2017, in connection with the murder of Brayan Rodriguez. The two were in a relationship at the time of the murder, according to officials.

Ortiz was 21 at the time of the alleged murder, and has been awaiting trial since.

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 death, had been reported missing Sept. 22, 2017, resulting in a number of searches to find him throughout the weekend.

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

Ortiz’ case was continued to Dec. 22 for another pretrial hearing, according to Greg Risling, spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  

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

David Figueroa

On July 30, 2018, detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau began investigating the stabbing death of 29-year-old Brent Hariston, of Canyon Country.

According to investigators, Figueroa is suspected of agreeing to meet Hariston on the 27500 block of Dewdrop Avenue with the intention of doing some work together. The two, according to investigators, befriended one another in rehab. The men reportedly began to argue, which is when detectives believe Figueroa stabbed Hariston, according to the late Homicide Detective John Corina.

Figueroa is due back in court Jan. 8 for another hearing. He’s yet to be formally arraigned on the murder charge, pending his preliminary hearing.

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