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District Attorney Sedita's Statement Regarding Confessed Killer Josue Ortiz


02/26/2013

Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announces the following:

Every prosecutor in New York agrees that the conviction of an innocent man is a grave injustice and is unquestionably unacceptable. If the credible evidence--as opposed to the opinions of others--demonstrates that a person previously convicted of a crime did not commit that crime, he should be exonerated. 

Josue Ortiz has been convicted of serious crimes and is serving a lengthy prison sentence. According to recently published reports, “law enforcement sources” are of the opinion that Ortiz is innocent.

The conviction at issue is not the result of a questionable jury verdict; rather, it is the result of a guilty plea. On December 22, 2006, Josue Ortiz pleaded guilty to killing Nelson Camacho and Miguel Camacho. At the time of that plea, Mr. Ortiz was under oath and in a court of law while accompanied by two defense attorneys.

Mr. Ortiz has admitted to killing both Nelson Camacho and Miguel Camacho in multiple forums and on multiple occasions. By virtue of a Federal Court Gag Order, the Office of the Erie County District Attorney is prohibited from further commenting upon the details of many of these admissions. In other words, I cannot elaborate further upon the details of these multiple admissions as to do so would put me in contempt of court.

Because Mr. Ortiz has admitted to a double-homicide on multiple occasions, I cannot seek his release from custody at this time. However, I anticipate that Mr. Ortiz, through his legal counsel, will make legal motions that will seek his release. This is the proper legal procedure to follow. My office will carefully review those motions once they are received and appropriately respond to them.