Jorge Orozco will spend the rest of his life in prison for the brutal shooting deaths of his girlfriend, Rebecca Ramirez, and two of her children more than a decade ago.
Orozco, who spent time on the FBIs Most Wanted list and avoided arrest for seven years by hiding in Mexico, was supposed to be sentenced in January by 4th District Judge Timothy Hansen on three counts of first degree murder.
Orozcos attorneys wanted more time to work on the case and asked for a delay, which was granted.
Ramirez family and friends filled the courtroom Monday morning. A clean shaven Orozco, dressed in a Elmore County Jail uniform, sat quietly at the defense table while one of Ramirez surviving kids, Noemi Ramirez, fought back tears as she made her victim impact statement.
"I want him to look at me and see my mom's face," Noemi Ramirez said. "I just hope you suffer in (prison)."
An interpreter is translating for Orozco, who appears lucid.
Elmore County Prosecutor Kristina Schindele asked Hansen to put Orozco in prison for three fixed life terms one term for each murder. Schindele told Hansen Orozco has never shown any remorse for what he has done and needed to be put in prison for life, without parole, for such a callous and heinous crime.
"There is no evidence (Orozco) has any rehabilitative potential," Schindele said.
Defense attorney Terry Ratliff asked Hansen to allow the 36-year-old Orozco to ask for parole after serving 30 years.
When given the opportunity to speak, Orozco's answer to Hansen was simple and direct.
Hansen, who has been a judge for over 20 years, told Orozco the execution deaths of Ramirez and her kids were "one of the most egregious and heinous offenses I have seen during my time on the bench, and the question keeps coming back as to why."
Hansen said the case was so egregious, and so senseless, that fixed life sentence was appropriate for the protection of society. Hansen gave Orozco three concurrent life sentences for each murder.
Orozco did not visibly react when the verdict was read. Several of Ramirez' family and friends fought back tears.
The 36-year-old Orozco may have been able to avoid arrest for most of the 2000s but it only took an Elmore County jury about eight hours split over two days to find Orozco guilty of first-degree murder in November following a two week jury trial late last fall. Elmore County Prosecutor Kristina Schindele agreed not to pursue the death penalty against Orozco as part of a deal to get him extradited from Mexico late last decade, but Orozco could be sent to prison for the rest of his life.
Two fishermen found the burned remains of Orozcos car in the desert south of Mountain Home on Aug. 11, 2002. Inside were the three bodies. Enough of the license plate was left to identify the owner of the car as Orozco.
Days later, the bodies were identified and Orozco was charged, but he had already left Idaho and likely the United States for Mexico.
The FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and Mexican police captured Orozco in Mexico in October 2009. Deputies brought Orozco back to Idaho a year later, and he has been in custody since then.
Elmore County prosecutors say Orozco killed Ramirez and her two young boys because she found out he was married and was going to leave him for another man. Prosecutors also told the jury last fall that Orozco suspected Ramirez of stealing some methamphetamine and money from him.
Orozcos attorney told the jury a different story, that Orozco left the U.S. because he was in the county illegally, not because he killed Ramirez. Orozco says that his car was shot at by someone else, who also likely killed Ramirez and her children after he ran away from the car. Jurors ultimately agreed with prosecutors.