Rosendo Rodriguez Moved to Tears During Punishment Testimony
Convicted killer Rosendo Rodriguez was moved to tears Monday during the punishment phase of his trial.
Last Friday, a jury found Rodriguez guilty on two counts of capital murder in the death of Summer Baldwin and her unborn child.
Monday, that same jury heard about Joanna Rogers for the first time. Although Rodriguez allegedly admitted to killing Rogers, a short hearing determined that only certain facts about her case could be used in this trial.
Joanna's father, Joe Bill Rogers, took the stand and talked about the last time he saw his daughter alive. An FBI agent also testified that Rodriguez called Joanna twice on the night of her disappearance. And finally, a Lubbock Police detective, who said at the same time Rodriguez read online articles about Summer Baldwin's murder, he also read about Joanna Rogers and downloaded some of her pictures.
However, it was testimony from the Rodriguez family that really triggered some emotion from Rodriguez Monday.
Rodriguez's father, Rosendo Rodriguez II, testified that he was an alcoholic who frequently beat his wife as his son watched. Rodriguez's sister, Sophia, corroborated that testimony, saying their father was domineering and violent. Rodriguez's aunt also took the stand, recalling that at the age of 14, Rodriguez announced that someday he would be the first Latino President of the United States.
And finally, Rodriguez's mother told the jury, that Rosendo was always a respectful boy, who now has a 6-year-old son of his own, Rosendo Rodriguez IV - a boy he has only seen three times. As she left the stand, Rodriguez's mother passed out. That's when Rodriguez jumped to his feet and cried out to her, but was restrained by bailiffs.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in this case.