Judge Orders Trial in Wounding of Officers


A 20-year-old Mexican laborer will stand trial later in the summer in the wounding of two deputies and in the attempted shooting of a third in April.

Emiliano Orozco was ordered Wednesday by Ventura County Municipal Judge Herbert Curtis III to stand trial on three counts of attempted murder in the April 29 shooting, Deputy Dist. Atty. James Ellison said.

According to testimony during the two-day preliminary hearing, Orozco told investigators that he shot at deputies after a routine traffic stop in El Rio because he was nervous that they would find the gun stuck in his boot, Ellison said.


Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Martinez, 41, and his partner, Deputy Jennifer Sezzi, 30, stopped Orozco and his cousin, Pablo Cortez de la Torre, 23, because the car they were riding in had a broken taillight.

The deputies spotted open beer bottles in the car. When they frisked de la Torre, they found a small bag of marijuana.

Martinez started to frisk Orozco, but as the deputy turned to ask his partner a question, Orozco allegedly pulled a gun out of his boot and began firing.

Martinez was hit three times--two shots were deflected by his bulletproof vest and the third shattered his shoulder. Another bullet grazed Sezzi’s shoulder.

Both Orozco and de la Torre ran from the scene. De la Torre, who was not charged in the case, ran to a home and called authorities to turn himself in. Orozco was spotted a few blocks away, where he again fired at deputies, authorities said.

On Wednesday, a criminalist testified that the bullets recovered were all consistent with the same type of weapon, but authorities have not yet found a gun.