PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A verdict has been reached in the case of a man charged with kidnapping his own daughter and causing a lengthy standoff in Altoona.
Tex Ortiz has been found guilty of kidnapping and guilty of interfering with the custody of a child.
Ortiz was found not guilty on charges of concealing the whereabouts of a child.
Ortiz is accused of taking his daughter from Wilkinsburg to Altoona a week before Christmas.
The issue had been the custody of his then-2-year-old daughter, Jaleeyah.
Ortiz claimed he was never given formal notice that he did not have custody of his daughter, and that fear of an increasingly hostile relationship with the family of the girl’s deceased mother drove him to flee.
“If I had notice that I had to go to court ‘cause somebody was going to take my daughter from me, I would have been the first one there,” testified Ortiz.
Ortiz was wearing an ankle bracelet from an unrelated case but admitted he cut it.
“I knew ultimately cutting the ankle bracelet off would get me in trouble. But I wanted to go somewhere safe and remove my daughter from the situation,” he testified.
He ended up in Altoona and a SWAT team was in place to end the situation if necessary.
In court Wednesday, recordings of his calls to relatives from the Allegheny County Jail were played.
Closing arguments were also made Wednesday.
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