Man found guilty in 14-year-old's shooting death sentenced

Ryan Rodriguez says he accidentally shot the teen at a party

By Paul Venema - Reporter, Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - A judge sentenced a man convicted in the shooting death of a 14-year-old girl to 10 years in prison on Tuesday.

This comes after a jury decided after three hours of deliberation that Ryan Rodriguez, 20, was guilty of criminally negligent homicide, and not manslaughter.

Melody Cerros was shot once in the back of the head during a party on the night of June 28, 2016.

Rodriguez, who was 19 years old at the time, was holding a Glock pistol that was handed to him by another teen, according to trial testimony. He claimed that the gun fired accidentally as he racked back the slide.

Witnesses told police that Rodriguez aimed the gun in the girl's direction and pulled the trigger.

"To take a firearm and rack back the slide, to point it at someone and pull the trigger is an incredibly unjustifiable risk that Ryan took," prosecutor Lauren Glasscock told the jury during closing arguments. "He knew better that to do what he did that night." 

Related: 'I want to die': Father testifies in court of events after son shot teenage girl

Rodriguez's lawyer argued that the shooting was a tragic accident.

"He's told going in that the gun was unloaded," defense attorney Raymond Martine told jurors. "Should Ryan have done a more thorough investigation to confirm that? We can talk about that."

Copyright 2018 by KSAT - All rights reserved.