Murder Suspect May Need New Defense Attorney Before Capital Murder Trial Begins - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/21/05

Murder Suspect May Need New Defense Attorney Before Capital Murder Trial Begins

The capital murder trial hasn't even started and already murder suspect Rosendo Rodriguez III may be forced to find a new defense attorney. A hearing at the Lubbock County Courthouse revealed Rosendo Rodriguez's attorney may be a material witness in the case.

It starts on September 13th, Rodriguez is accused of killing Summer Baldwin. If you recall a city worker found her body inside a suitcase at the Lubbock City Landfill on that date. She was pregnant at the time. Evidence later led police to the Holiday Inn at 8th and Avenue Q, where they believe Baldwin was killed.

The biggest development is the motion filed by the District Attorney's office on Wednesday. The motion was to disqualify Rodriguez's defense attorney, Albert Rodriguez. Rosendo is claiming self defense, he says the night Baldwin died she was carrying two knives. Rodriguez allegedly took those knives and gave them to his attorney, who then turned the knives over to police. Because the attorney had evidence in his possession, he may be considered a material witness in the case making him ineligible to represent Rodriguez. A disqualification hearing is set for ten o'clock Thursday morning.

The other big development it that a Lubbock Police investigator testified that the Sheriff's Office is investigating Rosendo Rodriguez in the disappearance of Joanna Rogers. She has been missing since May 2004. However, the investigator couldn't confirm or deny how much evidence the Sheriff's Office has linking Rogers with Rodriguez.

Also important to note, Rodriguez was asking for his bond to be reduced. It's currently set at half a million dollars. The judge will make a decision on that in early January.

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