A jury found a former U.S. Border Agent guilty of capital murder for killing four women with his service weapon in Laredo, Texas, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The serial killings over a 12-day span in late 2018 put the border city on edge and prompted a massive manhunt for the killer.

Juan David Ortiz, 39, was convicted by a Bexar County jury and received an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. The jury returned with their verdict after five hours of deliberation after a two-week trial in San Antonio.

Juan David Ortiz
Former U.S. Border Patrol supervisor Juan David Ortiz reacts as recorder jail phone calls to his wife, Daniella, are played outside the presence of the jury during his capital murder trial at the Cadena-Reeves Justice Center in San Antonio, Texas, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. Jerry Lara/The San Antonio Express-News via AP Photo

Ortiz was a former supervisory intelligence officer with the U.S. Border Patrol (USPB). He had been working for the agency for ten years when he picked up and killed the four women working as sex workers over 12 days in the Fall of 2018, reported the New York Times.

Ortiz became a Border Patrol agent after leaving the Navy in 2009, where he was a combat medic for eight years. He and his wife were raising two kids while he was working for the agency, said the Associated Press.

Ortiz was arrested in September 2018, hours after another potential victim named Erika Peña escaped and told a Texas Department of Public Safety officer that she had been threatened with a gun. Peña then directed officers to his truck, and officials said he was later taken into custody.

Ortiz made a voluntary statement confessing to the serial murders after an almost nine-hour interview with investigators. The four victims, Melissa Ramirez, 29, Claudine Luera, 42, Guiselda Cantu Hernandez, 35, and Janelle Ortiz, 28, were all found within miles of each other in remote areas near a highway

Families In Laredo Mourning Loved Ones
Family members and friends of the four women who the authorities say were killed by Mr. Ortiz gathered for a candlelight vigil in downtown Laredo, Texas, in 2018. Susan Montoya Bryan/AP Photo

Two of the women were allegedly murdered in the hours between Peña's escape and when Ortiz was arrested, investigators said.

Earlier this week, during the trial, Webb County Medical Examiner Corinne Stern testified on the condition of the bodies. She said all four women had gunshot wounds that were either on the head, neck, or both, and that all projectiles recovered were large caliber, copper-jacketed bullets like those used in Ortiz's service weapon.

Ortiz claimed during the police interview that "the monster would come out" and wanted to "clean up the streets" of prostitutes, which he claimed were "trash" and "so dirty," reported the Laredo Morning Times.

Prosecutor, Isidro Alaniz, told jurors during closing arguments that "Mr. Ortiz was a serial killer then, and is a serial killer now." Alaniz continued, "Cold, callous, calculating, just like that. It is terrifying to have the enemy within the ranks of law enforcement."

"Ortiz, by day, he was a family man," Alaniz told reporters following the guilty verdict. "The evidence shows that he was a supervisor. That he would go about his daily activities like anybody here. He appeared normal by all accounts and circumstances. At the nighttime, he was someone else, hunting the streets of San Bernardo for this community of people and arbitrarily deciding who he was going to kill next."