first_imgRivera, his brother and a friend were staying in the Palmdale area and had been working on the Wal-Mart store being built in east Palmdale, officials said. (661) 267-5744160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LANCASTER – A mistrial has been declared in the case of a 22-year-old Palmdale man accused of murdering an Orange County construction worker in November 2001. Antelope Valley Superior Court jurors deadlocked 11-1 in favor of convicting Victor Ortega, who was 17 when the slaying occurred. A retrial is scheduled for Aug. 18. The mistrial was declared Friday after jurors deliberated for about three days. The jury convicted Ortega of a drug charge before deadlocking on the murder charge, officials said. Ortega is accused of murdering David Rivera, 25, of Santa Ana, whose body was in an alley behind the 300 block of East Palmdale Boulevard on Nov. 10, 2001. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREFrumpy Middle-aged Mom: My realistic 2020 New Year’s resolutions. Some involve doughnuts.Under Proposition 21, prosecutors were permitted to charge Ortega as an adult. He also was charged with committing the killing during a robbery, a special circumstance that could have made him eligible for the death penalty if he had been 18 or older at the time. The prosecutor and defense attorney could not be reached Monday for comment. One of Ortega’s previous attorneys had said Ortega was at the home of friends when the shooting occurred. Ortega and Rivera met the night before Rivera was found dead in the alley and had been drinking together and with others, authorities said. They had met at Palmdale motel room rented by a woman who lives in Ortega’s neighborhood, officials said. The woman testified at a preliminary hearing in 2002 that she saw Ortega and the victim walking down a dark alley and five minutes later heard a gunshot in the general direction of the alley, officials said. An autopsy indicated Rivera was shot in the head. His wallet and jacket were taken. last_img

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