Jury finds Hector Rodriguez guilty of murdering Winter Park teen - FOX 35 News Orlando

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Jury finds Hector Rodriguez guilty of murdering Winter Park teens

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Hector Rodriguez Hector Rodriguez
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -

It took a jury over four hours on Thursday evening to reach a verdict in the murder trial of a man who prosecutors said assisted convicted killer Jesse Davis in the murder of two Winter Park teenagers.

Hector Rodriguez, 32, was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and two counts of robbery and sentenced to life in prison.

The charred bodies of Presha, 16, and Stewart, 18, both Winter Park High School students, were found along the Cady Way Trail in April of 2012.  Detectives said they were shot, execution style by Davis and Rodriguez, before the bodies were set on fire.

Earlier, prosecutors told the jury that all of the evidence indicated that it was a two-man job.

"Look at the testimony you have seen, and you don't leave your common sense at the door," said Ken Lewis. 

Detectives said the teens tried to sell guns to Davis when something went terribly wrong.  The boys were tied up and stripped down before their deaths.

Rodriguez said he was with Davis when the boys were bound but that Davis acted alone in the murders.  Prosecutors argued otherwise.

"These photos show you two different guns, that these boys were lined up side by side and executed at the trail with two weapons."

One of the teens was shot with a .22 caliber and the other with a .32 caliber weapon, detectives say.

Davis pleaded guilty to murder last year and was sentenced to life in prison.   He was expected to testify in the trial, but he refused when he took the stand, claiming "voices in his head" told him not to do so.

Prosecutors completed their closing statements late Wednesday morning.  The defense began their closing statements just after a lunch recess.   The jury is expected to begin deliberations this afternoon.

 

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