Man charged with killing 71-year-old admitted to beating him ‘like a pinata’ with piece of wood and stabbing him: reports

Crime Watch

Juan Carlos Ortega, 28 / Photo: Kern County Sheriff’s Office

WASCO, Calif. (KGET) — A 28-year-old man charged with murder in the death of a 71-year-old man with whom he’d been staying admitted to using a piece of wood to beat him “like a pinata” then repeatedly stabbing him with a knife, according to court documents.

Juan Carlos Ortega said he killed Javier Ibarra-Ibarra the morning of May 27 “because of being teased and told what to do,” according to documents filed by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. He said he felt like he was a burden to the elderly man.

Ibarra-Ibarra suffered apparent stab wounds to his chest and back, and cuts to the back of his head and upper right portion of his head, the court filings say. Ortega told detectives he stabbed Ibarra-Ibarra six or seven times.

After killing Ibarra-Ibarra, Ortega concealed the body behind a travel trailer on property in the 1000 block of F Street where they both lived, according to his statement in the documents. Ortega rented the trailer, and Ibarra-Ibarra lived in a house on the property.

Then he took Ibarra-Ibarra’s car and drove to his father’s residence, according to the documents. Ortega’s father wasn’t home, but the documents say Ortega told his stepsister he had killed someone and needed to get out of town.

Ortega told detectives he tried to make it to Mexico and got as far as 4 miles from Tijuana, but he turned around and drove north to Oregon and Sacramento. He said he was trying to stay away from “the situation,” the documents say.

Deputies arrested Ortega two days after the killing in the area of Highway 99 and Woollomes Avenue in Delano.

Ortega said he has used methamphetamine for a couple years, smoking the drug in the morning because it wakes him up like an energy drink, according to the documents. He said he hears voices in his head but can control them most of the time, and he didn’t hear any voices the day he killed Ibarra-Ibarra.

“Ortega made several statements during the interview that did not make sense and had trouble directly answering some questions,” an investigator wrote in the documents.

He has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and is next scheduled to appear in court July 20. Bail has been set at $1 million.

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