Reputed Redondo Beach Gang Member Pleads Not Guilty to Murder

Erick Julian Ortega is accused in the 2013 2013 shooting of Bobby Reynolds just outside Reynolds' mother-in-law's Redondo Beach home.

Erick Julian Ortega booking photo. Photo courtesy the Redondo Beach Police Department.
Erick Julian Ortega booking photo. Photo courtesy the Redondo Beach Police Department.

A reputed Redondo Beach gang member pleaded not guilty today to a murder charge stemming from the fatal shooting of a 38-year-old father of two.

Erick Julian Ortega, 28, is charged with one count of murder, along with sentence-enhancing gang and gun allegations, in the June 21, 2013, shooting of Bobby Reynolds.

Reynolds was gunned down outside his mother-in-law's Redondo Beach home in the 2400 block of Ralston Lane, according to police.

"He was shot multiple times by a suspect who approached him silently, callously and apparently without warning from behind and shot him dead," Redondo Beach police Chief Joe Leonardi said when Ortega was arrested in May.

Authorities were tipped off that Ortega -- identified as a suspect within days of the shooting -- fled to Utah, where he was working as a dishwasher in an Italian restaurant.

When he was confronted by agents from the FBI's Salt Lake City office with a warrant for his arrest, Ortega refused to identify himself. Police said he had identification bearing his photo but someone else's name.

Ortega's many tattoos, inked across his scalp and body, may have helped identify him to the tipster, who had seen an FBI wanted poster online.

The defendant was convicted in 2005 of making criminal threats, according to a complaint filed by the District Attorney's Office.

Ortega is due back in court Sept. 18, when a date is scheduled to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for him to stand trial.

--City News Service

Brian Folks July 15, 2014 at 03:58 PM


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