Two SCV felony suspects return to court

San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy
San Fernando Superior Courthouse. Courtesy

Two suspects accused of having committed felonies in the Santa Clarita Valley returned to court on Friday, receiving future dates to reappear in court.  

Christian Ortiz  

A Valencia man accused of murdering his boyfriend in 2017 returned to court last week.  

Christian Ortiz, 25, is charged with the murder of Brayan Rodriguez, his boyfriend at the time of the alleged crime. 

He is set to return on Oct. 18 for a pretrial conference. Pretrial conferences are used for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: establishing a timeline for concluding all pre-trial activities and possibly setting a tentative trial date at this time, encouraging the settlement of cases, counsel trying to agree on undisputed facts or points of law, and more. 

Rodriguez’s body was found inside a closet in a house on the 23600 block of Via Valer, near Valencia Glen Park. 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. 

Ortiz, who was 21 at the time of the alleged murder, remains in custody in the Twin Towers Correctional Facility with bail set at $2 million. 

Maria Herrera 

Maria Herrera, 29, is accused of purposefully igniting a brush fire on Oct. 2 at around 3:30 p.m. Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze within seven minutes of their arrival, but not before the blaze had burned 2 acres of land near 15th Street and Railroad Avenue.  

She was asked to return to the San Fernando Courthouse, Department NVG, on Friday for a prelim setting. A prelim setting is a hearing date to schedule a preliminary hearing — when the evidence is presented to the judge, who decides whether the trial will move ahead.  

Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials confirmed the arson investigation shortly after the fire was extinguished, noting that multiple witnesses identified Herrera leaving the scene.  

The defendant was charged with a felony count of driving or taking a vehicle without consent; and arson of a structure or forest.  

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