2 behind bars in Lubbock murder case, LPD searching for a woman - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

8/12/10

2 behind bars in Lubbock murder case, LPD searching for a woman

Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff Source: Lubbock Co. Sheriff
Stanley Rodriguez Stanley Rodriguez

By Ann Wyatt Little - email
 
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Two men are behind bars in connection with last week's murder at the Canyon Lakes and now police have questions for a woman who is only known by her first name.

Late Thursday afternoon police charged 22-year-old Michael Lewis with aggravated robbery in connection with the murder and say he was with Michael Whetstone the morning Stanley Rodriguez was fatally shot.

Whetstone is behind bars on a $500,000 bond, charged with murder. As the investigation unfolds, police say there is the possibility the Canyon Lakes may have been a robbery gone wrong. For the victim's family, the two arrests bring a little bit of closure.

"I feel at ease, a peace in my heart," said Victoria Benavides who walks for justice, each step for her slain son. Each lap she walks the easier it gets. "It is peaceful to be here. I'm not scared." Benavides is thankful for everyone who has worked on her son's case.

"I thank them, law enforcement and the all of the detectives," said Rodriguez's mother.

"I appreciate everyone who has been helpful in this case and appreciate the detectives," said Rodriguez's sister, Veronica Rodriguez who had faith there would be a break in the case.

New details released in a police affidavit shed light on the investigation. Two witnesses who were walking around the lake the morning of the murder told police they heard what sounded like a gunshot. Shortly after that, they saw a truck pull away from the parking lot without its lights on.

Once police discovered Rodriguez's body, they quickly realized that his wallet and cell phone were missing. The affidavit indicates two main pieces of evidence helped them in this case, the description of the truck and the victim's stolen cell phone which 22-year-old Michael Whetstone supposedly used in the days following the murder.

By Wednesday afternoon, detectives searched Whetstone's apartment. They found a pistol and bullets that matched those recovered at the crime scene. They also found Stanley's cell phone. After hours of questioning, Whetstone was charged with murder. Investigators say Michael Lewis was also in the park that morning with Whetstone. He was arrested on unrelated traffic charges and now faces an aggravated robbery charge.

Police believe there is someone else who knows what happened that morning. "We want to find out her involvement in the case," said Lt. Neal Barron with the Lubbock Police Department. He said the case is coming together, but speaking with this woman would help answer some questions.

The woman is described as a short, heavy-set Hispanic woman with dark hair who may go by the name Sophie. They are calling her a person of interest. Police says she is known to frequent the Villa Town Hotel in the 5400 block of Avenue Q.

How these people knew each other is a question detectives are working to answer. "We are looking into seeing what all those parties were doing that time of the night," said Lt. Barron.

While this case is far from over, the Rodriguez family says their prayers are with the people who have been arrested. "I'm going to pray for his mom. I want her to walk in my shoes," said Benavides.

Stanley's family says they do not know the people involved. Investigators say Lewis, the man they charged with aggravated robbery may face even more charges as the case continues.

Police would like to talk to the woman named Sophie. If you know her, or where she is, you can call Crime Line at (806) 741-1000.

Copyright 2010 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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