Mirror image of leapee Jesus Ortega, played by Stephen Domingas
|None, Prison inmate, Tallassee, Florida, 1971|
|is granted temporary stay of execution for the murder of a Catholic parish priest; Sam must either prove his innocence, or get him to confess to the murder to seve the life of fellow inmate Raul Casta, who was sentenced with him for the crime, and the career of the attorney defending them|
|Appeared on:||Quantum Leap (TV series)|
|Episodes appeared in:||"Last Dance Before An Execution" (Season 3)|
|Character played by:||Stephen Domingas as leapee/mirror image|
About Jesus OrtegaEdit
Sam leaps into Jesus as he's about to be executed for the murder of a priest. Right as he is about to be electrocuted, the governor calls and gives Sam a forty-eight hour stay of execution. Sam and Al assume that they must be there to prove that Jesus and his buddy and fellow death row inmate Raul Casta (Julio Oscar Mechoso), who was convicted with him for his supposed role in the murder, were innocent. The evidence is stacked against them with the murdered priest’s dying declaration that Jesus was the killer and two eyewitnesses. The real Jesus is no help, as he apparently believes himself to be dead already, and is comatose.
With the covert assistance of a Florida State Assistant District Attorney, Margerita Lorrea Tearsa (Jenny Gago), who thinks he's innocent, he's submitted an appeal to the Governor. All of this doesn't sit well with Theodore Moody (played by James Sloyan), the DA who convicted him who is also now a candidate for Governor.
The DA is running for governor on the basis of being hard on crime and so often pushes sentences up as high as he can and arranged for all five death row inmates to be there. In the original history, Tearsa is caught helping Jesus and not only fails to save him but is disbarred and ends up a social worker in an unemployment agency for the rest of her life. Sam tries to keep her from getting caught while helping himself.
Stunningly, a forensic test on the bullet which killed the priest conclusively proves that Jesus’ gun shot and killed him, as it betrays Margarita's trust in his innocense, and adds more fuel to the fire of DA Moody's mission to have DA Teresa disbarred, and both inmates executed. Jesus, the leapee, is no help, as he refuses to confess to the murder of the priest in the imaging chamber waiting room, as he believes he's "already dead", as he later becomes comatose upon his execution in an instant as Sam leaps.
In the end, at the very last second before Sam, in the place of Jesus, is muzzled in the electric chair, Al shows up instructing Sam to confess to the murder. It turns out that it was Raul and DA Tearsa Sam was there to save. Sam frees Raul and destroys the DA by providing the phone number and new name of the witness who was with Raul when the priest was killed. He was an immigrant who could not practice medicine when he came to America and he was given the opportunity to practice in New York to keep him out of Florida. This witness gave a statement which cleared Raul and had no idea that he was being searched for.
With the DA Moody ruined and Raul and Tearsa achieving their happy endings, Sam starts to panic again as he is fitted with the mouth-piece and helmet for his execution, as he quickly leaps before the switch is pulled, killing Jesus.