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Man now faces capital murder charges in 2019 death of 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 2:47 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A man who was facing murder charges in the death and disappearance of 79-year-old Celestino Rodriguez in 2019 is now being charged with capital murder by terroristic threat or other felony.

If 55-year-old David Hampton is convicted, he faces life in prison without parole. He could also face the death penalty if the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office decides to pursue that route.

Hampton was indicted again on May 17, 2022, for the enhanced charge of capital murder.

A total of six people have been arrested and charged with various crimes in connection to the disappearance and death of Rodriguez. None of the six defendants have gone to trial as of this report.

Rodriguez was reported missing by his family on August 3, 2019. Several days later his car was found in Temple, Texas, five hours from his last known location.

The body of 79-year-old Celestino Rodgriguez was found near Abernathy on Friday, August 15.
The body of 79-year-old Celestino Rodgriguez was found near Abernathy on Friday, August 15.(Slaton Police Department (custom credit) | Slaton Police Department)

On August 10 Police asked the public to help find David Hampton and Brett Garza when they were accused of using Rodriguez’s credit card.

On August 13, Toby Daughtry and Amanda Blagburn were arrested and charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. According to an arrest warrant, Daughtry and Blagburn said Hampton gave them the car, and they dumped it after hearing about the silver alert, according to court documents. Daughtry said Hampton told him “they” had beaten an old man and left him in the country outside of Lubbock and taken the car.

Hampton was arrested in Abilene on August 14 after police received a CrimeLine tip. Garza was arrested in Lubbock.

The arrest report shows Garza told police Heather Casias said she knew Rodriguez and about a government check he was expecting and they should rob him. Garza said Casias lured Rodriguez to a predetermined location in Lubbock where he and Hampton were waiting for them. The warrant says Hampton and Garza grabbed Rodriguez once they arrived at the location and assaulted him while Casias watched.

Court documents say during the assault, they realized Rodriguez had died, so they moved his body to a secluded location in a western Lubbock cotton field, according to the warrant.

Casias, Hampton and Garza then stole his vehicle and wallet and left the area. Casias told Garza she knew the PIN for Rodriguez’s card from a previous use while they were together making purchases.

Two days later, after Casias was questioned by law enforcement about the disappearance of Rodriguez, she was worried about authorities finding Rodriguez’s body. She and Garza decided to move his body, the warrant states.

According to court documents, Garza, a man named Freddie Salinas and another man, went to where they left Rodriguez’s body and moved it to another secluded location, this time, near Abernathy. The unnamed man has not been charged with a crime.

On August 15, investigators found Rodriguez’s body in a field in Abernathy.

MORE DETAILS: Seven people jailed in connection to the Murder of Celestino Rodriguez

Heather Casias, now 37, has been indicted for murder and is held in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a $250,000 bond.

Brett Garza, now 36, has been indicted for murder and credit card abuse of an elderly person and is held in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a combined $325,000 bond.

David Hampton, now 55, has been indicted for murder, credit card abuse of an elderly person, and theft and is held in the Lubbock County Detention Center on a combined $329,800 bond.

Amanda Blagburn was indicted for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and is no longer in the Lubbock County Detention Center. She was initially held on a $50,000 bond.

Freddie Salinas was indicted for tampering with a corpse and is no longer in the Lubbock County Detention Center. He was initially being held on a $100,000 bond.

Toby Daughtry was indicted for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and is no longer in the Lubbock County Detention Center. He was initially being held on a $50,000 bond.

(Top right to left) Freddie Salinas, Heather Casias, Toby Daughtry. 
(Bottom right to left)...
(Top right to left) Freddie Salinas, Heather Casias, Toby Daughtry. (Bottom right to left) David Hampton, Brett Garza, Amanda Blagburn.(Lubbock Police)

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