US man accused of homeless murders dies in jail

SANTA ANA, California (AP) A California man accused of killing four homeless men, a woman and her son died Thursday, a day after falling ill in his jail cell, authorities said.

Itzcoatl Ocampo, 25, was found in his single-man cell Wednesday and taken to a hospital, said Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock. He was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon.

No cause of death was immediately given, and officials said an autopsy will be performed in the coming days. The Orange County district attorney's office will investigate the death.

Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty against the Mexican-born Ocampo. They alleged that he stabbed four homeless men in late 2011 and early 2012. Ocampo targeted his victims because they were vulnerable and because he felt they were a blight on the community, authorities said.

Ocampo also was facing murder charges in the deaths of a friend's mother and brother in October 2011.

Ocampo said he had no history of psychological problems and felt the need to kill after he was confined to driving a water truck and a dirt truck on a military base in Iraq.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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