Stand Your Ground Retrial – Another Conviction
Mindyme62 posted about in open discussion in December 2014 about a stand your ground case. That’s more than a year ago, so I wanted to follow-up. In November 2015, we got a verdict, for the second time.
In 2010, Raul Rodriguez went to his neighbor’s house, taking his video recorder, cellphone, and gun with him. The neighbor was having a birthday party. Rodriguez thought that the music was too loud. Kelly Danaher, then 36-years old and a teacher, Kelly’s dad and other men argued with Rodriguez over the volume of the music. Rodriguez was filming when he said “I am in fear for my life” and shot, fatally wounding Kelly.
In 2012, Raul Rodriguez, 49, of Harris County, Texas, was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. Rodriguez appealed and Houston’s First Court of Appeals said the jury’s instructions on the law on self-defense was so confusing that Rodriguez did not get a fair trial.
In 2015, Rodriguez went back to trial. On November 20, 2015, jurors deliberated about 3 hours before siding with prosecutors that Rodriguez provoked the situation.
“This case is about provocation, pure and simple. The law doesn’t allow you to create a situation and then claim self-defense.” Prosecutor Kelli Johnson stated in closing arguments.
At his sentence hearing, Ashley Caspar, Kelly Danaher’s sister, condensed 5 years of pain into a 4 minute, 37-second victim impact statement. She addressed Rodriguez saying, “You are small, you are pathetic. You are a coward. You are the kind of person that makes the world a darker place to live in.”
This time, Raul Rodriguez was sentenced to life in prison. He will be 80 years old when he is eligible for parole.
The video below includes Rodriguez’s recording of the confrontation.