KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A jailed Mexican national accused of killing five men earlier this week cut himself with a safety razor in an apparent bid to take his own life, authorities said Thursday.
Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino, 40, was hospitalized in stable condition after being found bleeding Thursday morning in Montgomery County’s jail, the county sheriff’s department said in a statement. He was taken to the facility after his capture Wednesday a few miles from where authorities say he gunned down a 49-year-old man at the man’s home.
Serrano-Vitorino, who is in the country illegally, is charged with first-degree murder in that man’s death and the deaths of his neighbor and three other men Monday in Kansas City, Kansas. His public defender in the Missouri case, Stephen Payne, didn’t immediately respond to phone messages seeking comment.
Missouri’s attorney general, Chris Koster, said Thursday that Serrano-Vitorino would be prosecuted first for the Missouri killing and that Montgomery County’s district attorney, Nathan Carroz, had asked his office to assist in the case. Carroz did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Chris Schneider, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office in Wyandotte County, Kansas, said he wasn’t aware of any arrangement about which state would prosecute Serrano-Vitorino first.
But Nanci Gonder, a spokeswoman for Koster, told The Associated Press that “we intend to keep him in the state of Missouri through the trial.”
Both states have the death penalty, though prosecutors haven’t said whether they would pursue it.
Authorities haven’t discussed a possible motive for the attacks, though Wyandotte County District Attorney Jerome Gorman said the Kansas killings did not appear drug-related.
A probable cause statement filed with the Missouri complaint against Serrano-Vitorino alleges that he confronted Nordman Tuesday morning in Nordman’s garage, and the two struggled over Serrano-Vitorino’s rifle. As Nordman’s wife ran for safety inside the house and called 911, she heard a gunshot and saw a man running away, the statement read.
Serrano-Vitorino was deported from the U.S. in April 2004 because he was in the country illegally, but he re-entered at some unknown time, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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