A case involving a domestic shooting incident has been sent to the grand jury.
On Tuesday, Madison County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Ronald Morris certified two charges against Daniel Ortiz Rubio. Rubio, 47, was arrested Dec. 12 following the shooting death of his brother, Aramis Ortiz, 44.
On Tuesday, video footage of an interview Rubio and Madison County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sarah McKnight was played in court. During the interview, Rubio said he had asked his brother to move out of the home Rubio rents with his wife at 2282 Thrift Road. Rubio said the landlord was going to raise the rent due to an extra person being in the home. Rubio said the conversation with Ortiz turned into an argument with the latter trying to strike Rubio’s wife and car with his own PT Cruiser. Rubio said he shot three times in the air to scare Ortiz who then left.
McKnight testified that Ortiz’s car was found approximately ½ mile from the home on Thrift Road. The vehicle had flipped and Ortiz was outside of the vehicle, on the ground deceased. She said Virginia State Police investigators discovered two bullet holes in the vehicle—one in the rear quarter panel and the other in the rear passenger door. The trajectory determined the one bullet had entered and exited the victim. A .40 Smith and Wesson was retrieved from Rubio’s home along with ammunition.
Rubio faces two charges—maliciously shooting at an occupied vehicle resulting in a death in a willful unlawful and premediated murder and voluntary manslaughter. A person guilty of the first charge is found to be guilty of first degree murder.
Madison County Commonwealth’s Attorney Clarissa Berry said there’s more than enough evidence to find probable cause to certify the two charges to the grand jury. She said the evidence supports the “heat of passion” required to convict someone of voluntary manslaughter. As for the other charge, she said Rubio indicated he had a weapon and where the bullet holes entered the car showed it was a thoughtful act.
Defense attorney Kirk Milam disagreed. He said the story consisted of two separate scenes—a wrecked car with a person outside with a bullet wound and a house where Rubio had shot three times in the air. Milam said all kinds of things could have happened while the person was on the road, including a shooting. He also said if already shot at the house, it’s highly unlikely someone could travel ½ mile down the road. He asked that both charges be dismissed.
Judge Morris disagreed. He said the evidence finds probable cause in both charges and certified them to the grand jury. The Madison County Grand Jury next meets Monday morning.