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McFarland USA Johnny Ortiz with a look of determination

Current events may be chaotic and uncertain in recent times, but that hasn’t stopped the wheels of law and order from turning in their due process. The latest example of such happenings comes from a case being leveled against actor Johnny Ortiz, best known for starring in Disney’s Mcfarland USA alongside Yellowstone’s Kevin Costner. Ortiz has been charged with attempted murder, and the story of the particulars only seem to get wilder as the details continue to pour in.

Johnny Ortiz is currently being held on $1.12 million bail, with a preliminary hearing set to take place at some point today, according to TMZ, who has broken the story. Ortiz is pleading not guilty, which lines up with the uncertainty that prosecutors have on his connection to the attempted murder of Brian Duke. Though some of the details are seemingly opaque, Johnny Ortiz has bee charged for his alleged connection to the crime, with the following caveats included:

…for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in association with a criminal street gang with the specific intent to promote, further and assist in criminal conduct by gang members.

Johnny Ortiz is currently in jail, awaiting further proceedings; his family is trying to raise the money to bail him out through crowdfunding efforts. The severity of this attempted murder charge has yet to be listed, and Ortiz is not being named as the person accused of actually executing said attempted murder. That particular role is being assigned to Armando Miguel Navarro, another participant in this particular case. Though the entire situation has been codified as a premeditated act, which is something that could lead to steeper consequences and sentencing, should Johnny Ortiz be convicted in connection with the act.

While best known for his role in the ensemble of McFarland, USA, Ortiz started his career with a bit part in the Michael Mann/Will Smith led biopic Ali. Eventually, he went on to play his role in the 2015 Disney biopic, and would also score roles in TV series like ABC’s American Crime, as well as in recent films such as the Jennifer Garner revenge thriller Peppermint and the Netflix Original El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

Obviously, Johnny Ortiz’s attempted murder charges are, at the moment, still pretty early on in the overall process. So there will be more to report in the coming days, as this matter proceeds through the proper legal channels. As more details come in pertaining to these matters,  CinemaBlend will be on hand to break any updates as they occur.

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