Actor Johnny Ortiz has been arrested on premeditated attempted murder charges. Ortiz, who has starred in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie as well as McFarland, USA, was taken into police custody back in May in connection to a gang-related incident. He has remained behind bars, with the charges recently being filed against him.
According to court documents obtained by TMZ, the charges stem from the attempted murder of a man named Brian Duke, whom Ortiz and another man named Armando Miguel Navarro allegedly tried to kill. The attempted murder was "for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in association with a criminal street gang with the specific intent to promote, further and assist in criminal conduct by gang members," according to the documents. Police allege that Navarro was the one to pull the trigger. Ortiz's role in the attempted murder is unclear, though authorities felt it warranted the charges.
The outlet reports that Ortiz has pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on Monday. He is currently being held on $1,120,000 bail.
While Ortiz has not yet released a statement addressing the charges, a GoFundMe page created by his family, titled "Help get our beloved Johnny back," maintains his innocence. Having raised $780 of its $100,000 goal to bond him out of jail, the page says that Ortiz is "in jail fighting for his case that he is innocent on" and adds that "we lost our beloved mother with cancer and losing another family member breaks our heart." The page explains that Ortiz "does everything to help the community and the Hispanic community especially" and "has contributed to many non-profit organizations and community organizations."
Ortiz most recently starred in El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, which debuted on Netflix in October of 2019. In the film, he portrayed a busboy, something that he said was an "honor." In a post promoting the movie that was shared to his Instagram account on April 9, he wrote, "What an Honor to be part of some history." He requested that his followers send him comments on what they thought of the film and quipped, "Y'all caught me slipping in there?"
Along with his role in the Breaking Bad film, Ortiz also starred as Jose Cardenas alongside Kevin Costner in McFarland, USA in 2015. His other credits include portraying Tony Gutierrez on American Crime as well as roles in Ali, Notorious, and the Jennifer Garner-starring film Peppermint, among several others.