- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 27, 2018

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A New York City man acquitted of murder in a drug-related killing thought he was getting out of jail Wednesday. Instead, he was slapped with new charges.

A complaint accusing Timothy Ortiz, 24, of being a felon in possession of a firearm was filed in federal court on Wednesday, two days after the acquittal of Ortiz in a killing two years earlier in Biddeford. Ortiz claimed he acted in self-defense.

Defense attorney Luke Rioux questioned the timing of the charges filed Wednesday morning as his client anticipated being freed from custody.

“As I understand it, the federal prosecutors have been sitting on this case for close to two years. The timing today raises suspicion that they are acting now not in some sudden need to enforce federal law but in response to Monday’s murder acquittal,” he said.

The prosecutor’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

At the time of the shooting, Ortiz was wanted for a probation violation related to sex trafficking and drug charges. He was due to be released on that charge on Wednesday and a family member was in Maine to return him to New York, Rioux said.

Instead, Ortiz appeared before a federal magistrate judge.

According to the new complaint, Ortiz was already a convicted felon in New York when he used a Ruger .357-caliber revolver to kill Jonathan Methot.

The defense contended Ortiz was choked before he fired three shots, with one of them hitting Methot in the face. The prosecution said the killing was aimed at settling a drug debt.

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