He was a drug addict. He was diagnosed with mental illness. He had threatened to kill himself many times. Throughout his teenage years, he ran away from home on numerous occasions. There is no doubt: Joshua Ortiz is a troubled 21-year-old and his troubles will continue for the foreseeable future. Ortiz has been convicted of second-degree murder and has been sentenced to 30 years in a Florida prison after an argument with his mother turned violent in 2014. Ortiz admitted to strangling his mother in her Florida home. Ortiz fled the scene and was arrested several days later in Maryland.
Ortiz had been sent for psychiatric treatment in the early stages of his trial because the judge deemed him to be mentally unfit for trial. He was later deemed fit for trial and accepted a plea bargain. While this case has come to a close in many ways, for Ortiz, his life is just beginning. How his state of mind is impacted by incarceration will surely be of interest to many specialists, but his case will surely fade from the media spotlight, unfortunately. Hopefully this tragic case encourages a substantive discussion about treating people with violent mental illness before they cause irreparable damage.