Monday was day six of the Rosendo Rodriguez capital murder trial and the day began with a hearing about Joanna Rogers and ended with both sides resting their cases. In between we saw four more character witnesses for the prosecution and 12 witnesses for the defense.
The prosecution began with a fifth girl accusing Rosendo Rodriguez of rape. Then for the first time in this trial, we heard the name Joanna Rogers. You'll recall Rogers was another girl found dead and stuffed in a suitcase at the Lubbock landfill. Joanna's father, Joe Bill, took the stand and spoke about the last time he saw his daughter alive.
Following that testimony, the same Lubbock Police Computer Investigator who testified for the prosecution about Summer Baldwin, testified again. This time he talked about computer chat logs between Rosendo Rodriguez and Joanna Rogers. But in all of the testimony, the jury was never specifically told that Rodriguez had allegedly admitted to killing Joanna Rogers - it was only implied.
After a short recess the defense began with testimony from the new Lubbock County Jail Administrator and a jail guard, about Rodriguez's conduct during his two and a half years in the Lubbock County Jail. In that time, he has only been involved in one altercation, in which he was found to be innocent.
Rodriguez's family also took the stand today, starting with his father, Rosendo Rodriguez Jr. who admitted to being an alcoholic, and to physically abusing his wife and children. Rosendo's mother told the court that he has a six-year-old son, Rosendo Rodriguez IV - a son he's only seen three times. After her testimony, Mrs. Rodriguez passed out while leaving the court room. The defendant ran towards her and was detained by the guards, then reprimanded by the judge.
Lastly we heard from Rodriguez's common law wife and the mother of his child. She said despite being convicted of capital murder, Rosendo Rodriguez is a caring father and a good person.
Proceedings will resume Tuesday with the reading of the final court charge followed by closing statements from the prosecution and defense. After that the jury will leave to deliberate Rodriguez's punishment.