Questions for Grand Rapids judge link murder suspect to another, year-old homicide case

(MGN Graphics)

In court Thursday for an arraignment on murder charges in the shooting death of a 17-year-old, Vincente Rodrigues-Ortiz questioned a Grand Rapids judge about his “other murder case.”

Within hours, the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office had issued a warrant for Ortiz on charges related to a nearly year-old homicide of a 50-year-old woman.

Ortiz, 22, was arrested Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018, on charges open murder, felony firearm, felonious assault and domestic assault and battery in connection with Grand Rapid’s fifth homicide of the year.

He was arrested after police responded to 911 call about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. Officers arriving at the scene on Second Street N.W. found a man suffering from gunshot wounds, later identified as Andre Hawkins. Hawkins was taken to a hospital where he died of his injuries.

Less than 24 hours later, officers located the suspect in Hawkins’ death, less than four blocks from where the shooting occurred.

Then, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2018, while being arraigned on the charges, Ortiz asked the questions that prompted investigators to review the March 2017 homicide of Laurie Kay Lundeburg.

Detectives questioned Ortiz regarding both homicides, then sought the new warrant.

Ortiz soon will be arraigned on charges of homicide-open murder and felony firearm in connection with Lundeburg’s death nearly a year ago.

Lundeburg was found dead about 1 a.m. March 18, 2017, outside a home on Lincoln Avenue N.W. Officers were responding to a call regarding sounds of gunshots.

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