DUI death matador’s son faces trial for violent robbery

José Fernando Ortega accused of assaulting man and stealing his cellphone, wallet and car

José Ortega Cano (left) and his son, José Fernando Ortega.
José Ortega Cano (left) and his son, José Fernando Ortega. EUROPA PRESS

José Fernando Ortega, the adopted son of former bullfighter José Ortega Cano and the late singer Rocío Jurado, faces trial starting March 14 on charges of robbery, assault, theft and traffic violations following an incident in Seville last year. Ortega and five others are accused of assaulting a young man outside a nightclub, stealing his cellphone, wallet, money and car and then setting the vehicle alight after three days of use.

Ortega, 20, has been in preventive custody since November 14. His father, a successful matador, also has a prison sentence hanging over his head for causing the death of a motorist while driving under the influence in May 2011. Last month, a Seville judge rejected Ortega Cano's petition to remain free on bail while he appeals against the conviction.

Ortega Jr and five other suspects will appear before a judge on February 19 for a pre-trial plea hearing. Prosecutors are seeking a five-year sentence while the private prosecution brought by the victim is asking for a term of eight years.

If no deal is reached in this month's hearing the case will go to trial. The judge has admitted all pertinent evidence but did not allow a psychological evaluation on José Fernando Ortega, ruling that the document "is unnecessary to get to the bottom of the matter."

Ortega has paid more than 10,000 euros to the victim of the assault, which the lawyer handling the private prosecution said will be taken into account when setting a claim for compensation.

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