Prosecutors Say Evidence Links Rodriguez to Baldwin Murder - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/25/08

Prosecutors Say Evidence Links Rodriguez to Baldwin Murder

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Witnesses called to the stand in day two of the Rosendo Rodriguez capital murder trial testified about evidence that links the suspect to the victim. Rodriguez has entered a not guilty plea in the murders of Summer Baldwin and her unborn child. Her body was found inside a suitcase at a Lubbock landfill.

For the first time Tuesday, attorneys for the defense and prosecution went head to head over evidence. Lasting no more than a few minutes, the quarrel was over copies of documents the defense objected to and didn't want used as evidence. The documents came from the Holiday Inn - Civic Center. They were room key logs and the copies. And in addition to computer printing, there were also handwritten notes. And that is what defense attorneys objected to.

District Attorney Matt Powell used heated words, and fired back at the defense team. He said attorneys for Rodriguez have seen these documents in the past, and never had a problem with them until now.

When all was said and done, Judge Jim Bob Darnell allowed the documents to be entered in as evidence.  Also Tuesday, testimony from several Lubbock Police Department detectives testifying to evidence left in the hotel room, and also the suitcase Summer Baldwin was found in on September 13, 2005.

The suitcase was a brand sold exclusively at Wal-mart, with a serual number distributed to the location on South Loop 289. Two were sold there on September 12, 2005, the day of the murder. Transaction information indicated that one of them was purchased around 3:30 a.m., using a debit card belonging to Rosendo Rodriguez. And surveillance video showed a customer resembling Rodriguez as he loaded the suitcase into a red pickup truck in the parking lot, and then drove away.

Detectives also testified that the same debit card was used to pay for room 609 at the Holiday Inn Civic Center in Lubbock, where Summer Baldwin's blood was found, and other evidence prosecutors say ties Rodriguez to the crime.

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