PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A Portsmouth man was charged Monday for attempting to have someone else kill a pair of witnesses in his upcoming trial. Police confirm the alleged plot was orchestrated from jail.

Portsmouth police say 41-year-old Nicholas Louis Ortiz faces two counts each of criminal solicitation of murder and felony obstruction of justice through witness intimidation on top of prior abduction and robbery charges stemming from an incident in 2021.

Ortiz was arraigned Tuesday morning and is currently being held at the Portsmouth City Jail without bond.

Nicholas Louis Ortiz (Courtesy – PPD)

On July 12 of that year, he met up with an ex-girlfriend who had moved out in an attempt to reconcile their relationship. When she declined, he “became upset,” according to court documents, and threatened to kill himself with a .45 caliber handgun in front of her.

Instead of pulling the trigger, he instructed her to call one of her co-workers, who he threatened over the phone. Next, he forced her to get into his car, physically carrying her at one point, court documents state.

After several hours of driving around, she managed to convince him to take her home, at which point she was able to get into her own car and get away.

When she was interviewed by police, she told them that she was afraid of what he was capable of. He’d previously told her “he owns a lot of firearms and… has nothing else to lose after she left.”

After the incident, the woman and several others filed a protective order against Ortiz. It was in effect until at least March of this year.

According to court documents, Ortiz was previously honorably discharged from the military.

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