An illegal immigrant police believe murdered a Grand Rapids woman in March will stand trial for numerous felony charges that could result in a life sentence.

Grand Rapids District Court Judge Angela Ross on Wednesday bound Brandon Ortiz-Vite over to Kent County Circuit Court following testimony from six witnesses and a video played in court that featured the Mexican national confessing to “a horrible crime,” MLive reports.

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“I’m turning myself in because I did a horrible crime,” Ortiz-Vite told a Michigan State Police trooper following his arrest at a church in Allegan County two days after the March 22 murder. “There’s a hit out on me already.”

Ortiz-Vite was concerned family of 25-year-old Ruby Garcia would end his life in jail without protection.

“I know what I did was a horrible, horrible thing, but I also fear for my life,” he said in the video cited by WPBN.

“When it comes to death, for what I did, I know it’s not going to be just a shot in the head,” Ortiz-Vite said. “It’s going to be torture.”

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Evidence presented on Wednesday makes clear Ortiz-Vite’s immigration status played a key role in the crime, with MSP Detective Sgt. Aaron Tubergen testifying he was fearful of being deported, WOOD reports.

Ortiz-Vite entered the U.S. illegally and was later approved for President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which shields illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children from deportation.

Ortiz-Vite’s DACA status expired in May 2019, and he was deported by the Trump administration in September 2020 following a string of crimes including driving while intoxicated and burglary.

Officials testified on Wednesday that Ortiz-Vite admitted to drinking alcohol and using cocaine the day of the murder.

Tubergen told the court Ortiz-Vite and Garcia were in a romantic relationship that Garcia attempted to end on March 22. While Garcia was driving, the two argued as Ortiz-Vite repeatedly attempted to grab the steering wheel, prompting Garcia to pull over on US-131 and demand Ortiz-Vite exit the car, according to Tubergen.

Ortiz-Vite asked Garcia to drop him off elsewhere, fearing police patrolling the highway would find him walking and learn he is in the country illegally. When Garcia pulled out her phone, Ortiz-Vite pulled out his gun, according to testimony cited by WXMI.

“He commented on his own immigration status and was worried about having contact with law enforcement,” Tubergen testified.

“During that altercation, he remembered that he had his handgun with him,” Tubergen said. “I believe he said it was instinct that he then reached for the gun and shot her multiple times inside the vehicle.”

Ortiz-Vite then got out of the car and opened the driver’s door, where he could see Garcia was still alive, he said.

“He recalled signs of life,” Tubergen said. “He indicated that her hands were still moving. He indicated in similar terms that she was still fighting for her life, and that’s when he decided to shoot her one more time, he believed it was in the head.”

Ortiz-Vite then fled in Garcia’s car, with others testifying that they witnessed the vehicle run over “a big object” as it pulled away.

Kent County Deputy Chief Medical Examiner David Start determined Garcia was shot a total of four times, including twice in the head. He testified that she died of a gunshot wound to the head, MLive reports.

Other testimony Wednesday came from a Kent County sheriff’s deputy who found Garcia’s body on US-131, and a childhood friend who lived with Ortiz-Vite.

The case now moves to Kent County Circuit Court, where the 25-year-old is expected to stand trial for felony charges including open murder, carjacking, carrying a concealed weapon and felony firearm.

The gruesome murder has renewed calls from Michigan Republicans to move legislation that would ban cities and counties from adopting sanctuary policies that shield illegal immigrants from federal law enforcement, as well as other measures aimed at curbing illegal immigration.

Democrats who control the Michigan Legislature have refused to hold hearings on the Republican legislation, opting instead to focus on offering driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants, $8 million in legal aid for “asylum seekers,” and other programs aimed at ensuring Michigan is “the state of choice for many newcomer populations.”

Garcia’s murder is among many examples of the consequences of President Joe Biden’s failure to secure the southern border. Just two weeks ago, another illegal immigrant from El Salvador with a lengthy criminal record was arrested for numerous malicious attacks on homeless residents in West Virginia.

Still others have been arrested in Michigan in the weeks since Garcia’s death for soliciting sex from minors in Shiawassee County, sexual conduct with a 15-year-old Livingston County girl, multiple sex assaults in Ann Arbor, a fatal hit-and-run in Grand Rapids, and breaking into a home in Sturgis to molest two girls under the age of 13.