Winkelman man facing murder charges after wife dies

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A young mother is dead after being injured in a domestic violence assault while her husband remains in jail, charged with her murder.

According to Chief S. G. Gillen of the Hayden Police Department, on Sunday, April 28, 2013, at approximately 6 p.m. Hayden Police and medical personnel were called to the scene of an assault in the 500 block of Fifth St., Hayden. Both victims, Vanessa Ortega and Eric Gonzales, were taken by helicopter to University Medical Center for treatment of their injuries. The suspect in the attack was identified as Guillermo Ortega III, 37.

Ortega fled the scene in a white Chevy Suburban SUV, heading south on Highway 77.

Pinal County Sheriff’s Office dispatchers received an emergency call just before 9 p.m. reporting that a vehicle had rolled in the area of E. Highway 77 and S. Willow Springs Rd., just south of Oracle. The driver, it was reported, had a possible compound fracture of the upper leg and several broken ribs. Deputies identified the driver as the suspect in the Hayden assault case, secured Ortega in an ambulance and cleared the scene, said PCSO Public Information Officer Tamra Ingersoll.

Gillen said that Ortega was transported to University Medical Center for further medical treatment. HPD officers, he said, arrived at the hospital and arrested Ortega and charged him with aggravated assault and domestic violence. Ortega was then transported and booked into the Pima County Sheriff’s Detention facility.

“Vanessa Ortega did not survive her injuries,” Gillen said, “and passed away on Tuesday, April 30, 2013. Eric Gonzales is currently recovering from his injuries.”

Guillermo Ortega was transported from the Pima County Jail on Thursday, May 2, and was booked into the Gila County Jail. He has been charged with second degree murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. He is being held at the Globe jail on $250,000 bond.

“(The) Hayden Police Department wishes to thank the members of the community who responded to the scene at San Pedro and Fifth St. Sunday evening and rendered first aid,” said Gillen.

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