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‘American Crime’ Actor Johnny Ortiz Charged With Attempted Murder

Johnny Ortiz, who has a film resume including "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie" and the Kevin Costner picture "McFarland, USA" is accused of participating in a gang-related plot.

By Connor Mannion
‘American Crime’ Actor Charged With Attempted Murder

"American Crime" actor Johnny Ortiz is accused of planning out and attempting to kill a man as part of a street gang operation — while his family contends the 24-year-old is innocent. 

Ortiz and another man, Armando Miguel Navarro, are charged with trying to kill Brian Duke, according to a felony complaint provided to Oxygen.com by the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office.

The attempted hit was "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," the complaint alleged. 

Navarro — who is also listed under the alias "Wicked" — is accused of being the triggerman in the shooting attempt against Duke; it's not clear what role Ortiz played in the attack, according to the court document.

Navarro s being held in lieu of $2.09 million bail, according to online jail records provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department; Ortiz's bail has been set at $1.2 million.

Ortiz has a number of small acting roles to his name, according to his IMDb page. Most notably, he starred in the 2015 Kevin Costner movie "McFarland, USA" and as a lead in the first season of the crime anthology series "American Crime." 

Ortiz's most recent credit is as "Busboy" in the 2019 Netflix film "El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story."

Ortiz's family had attempted to fundraise on GoFundMe for his legal defense, claiming he was innocent. 

"Johnny is everything to our family. Johnny does everything to help the community and the Hispanic community especially. ... He is in jail fighting for his case that he is innocent on," the page read, according to TMZ.

However, the fundraiser has since been taken down for a terms of service violation, a representative for the crowdfunding website told Oxygen.com. GoFundMe's terms of service prohibits crowdfunding "for the legal defense of alleged crimes associated with hate, violence, harassment, bullying, discrimination, terrorism, or intolerance of any kind."

Both Navarro and Ortiz were in court on Monday and it's not clear if the pair have lawyers available to comment on their behalf. They are due back in court for preliminary hearing on Sept. 22, a district attorney's office spokesperson told Oxygen.com.

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