Homeless killer suspect said he had 'killer' gene

Associated Press Modified: March 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm •  Published: March 15, 2012

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — A former Marine charged with the gory stabbing deaths of six people in California told investigators he targeted homeless people in part because they were vulnerable, and that believed he had a "killer gene," according to court papers obtained Thursday.

Daron Wyatt, an Anaheim police detective, told an Orange County grand jury in February that Itzcoatl Ocampo provided a detailed account of his involvement in the murders of four homeless men following his arrest in January, according to a copy of the transcript from the proceedings.

Another investigator told the grand jury Ocampo later confessed to two more murders — the October killings of his high school friend Eder Herrera's mother and brother in Yorba Linda.

The revelations come as Ocampo, a 23-year-old former Marine, faces six felony counts of murder for allegedly stalking and stabbing his victims in killings authorities said were carried out with a roughly seven-inch military-style blade and that terrorized Orange County's homeless community.

Ocampo has pleaded not guilty to the charges. A message was left Thursday for his attorney, Randall Longwith.

If convicted, Ocampo could face the death penalty. The district attorney has not yet decided whether to seek capital punishment in the case.

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