Ruben Martinez guilty in road rage slaying
Francisco Rodriguez shot to death from passing car
During closing arguments in the trial of Ruben Martinez, 19, prosecutors told the jury that returning a guilty verdict was the right thing to do.
After deliberating for three hours the jury -- by their verdict -- obviously agreed.
Francisco Rodriguez, 23, was driving on Interstate 37 near Fair Avenue as two other vehicles raced along the expressway in December 2011.
Prosecutors said he apparently was going too slow and got in the way of the racing cars.
Martinez, they claimed, was one of the drivers.
Martinez allegedly pulled alongside the car Rodriguez was driving and shot him.
During closing arguments Thursday morning in Judge Sid Harle’s 226th District Court, prosecutors urged the jury to find him guilty of murder.
“Y’all have an opportunity to see that Frankie’s mother and Frankie get justice,” Prosecutor Christian Henricksen told the jury. “And I think you know what the right thing to do is.”
Defense Attorney Larry Greenwood argued that the state’s case was based on circumstantial evidence -- not sufficient to merit a guilty verdict, he argued.
Martinez elected to have Harle set punishment. He will do so at a later date after a pre-sentencing investigation has been completed.
The punishment range for murder is from five to 99 years to life in prison.
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