Oklahoma Woman Charged Three Counts Of First Degree Murder For The Deaths of Her Alleged Burglar Accomplices

87981c51-691b-4555-b913-c7e939d90098-large16x9_RODRIGUEZELIZABETHMARIEElizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, is facing an extraordinary set of charges of three counts of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary.  The men killed were actually her accomplices in an attempted burglary. None of the them had a gun but one had a knife and one has brass knuckles.  The homeowner’s son however did have a gun and shot and killed all three men. Prosecutors then charged Rodriguez with the deaths even though she was only the getaway driver.

Two of the men broke through a glass door in the back of the house.   The homeowner’s son confronted them and, after a brief exchange, shot them with what is believed to be an AR-15.

There might be a question of whether two men armed with a knife and brass knuckles justifies such a response. However, a knife is a lethal weapon and the victim is allowed to respond under the common law with commensurate force.  Moreover, Oklahoma is a Castle Doctrine state and provides that :

PHYSICAL OR DEADLY FORCE AGAINST INTRUDER

A. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the citizens of the State of Oklahoma have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes or places of business.

B. A person or an owner, manager or employee of a business is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or a place of business, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or place of business; and

2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

 

In the meantime, Rodriguez will be charged with the deaths of her alleged cohorts as three counts of first-degree murder in addition to the three counts of first-degree burglary.

97 thoughts on “Oklahoma Woman Charged Three Counts Of First Degree Murder For The Deaths of Her Alleged Burglar Accomplices

  1. No sympathy for Home Invaders

    If anyone is to blame for this situation its Liberals who have spread their cancerous beliefs in this country

    • “If anyone is to blame for this situation its Liberals who have spread their cancerous beliefs in this country”

      Now I am confused. Did the liberal make her accomplices break in? Or did the liberals make the son fire the AR15?

      Those pesky liberals are always up to something, aren’t they?

  2. ” … reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if: … The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, …. ”

    Personally, I have no problem with the use of lethal force when there is ‘reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm ‘.

    However I have to question the legal presumption that unlawful entry justifies the use of lethal force.

    What about situations when the burglar tries to surrender. What if the burglar tries to run away.

    It seems to me that the mere fact of being a burglar does not justify summary execution.

    I object to the presumption in the law that allows the claim of justifiable homicide due solely to unlawful entry.

    Justifiable homicide based on self defense should require more that the victim merely standing beside a broken window or lock.

    • “…the mere fact of being a burglar does not justify summary execution.” You must have been blessed with the awesome gift of psychic ability that you would in a matter of seconds be able to know their intentions. How exactly do burglars differ in appearance from rapists and killers? Most of the time rapists don’t break in in threesomes BUT THEY COULD. They also could have broke in with the intent to steal, but agreed among themselves first to kill anyone they found home who confronted them and they could have had guns on their persons loaded and ready to grab in an instant out of view of any home resident. It is still the homeowner’s responsibility to use common sense however in the case of someone with dementia confusedly thinking they still lived there, or the drunk down the street in the house that looks an awful lot like yours making a mistake neither of which would have obviously been the case here. And what about a burglar intending to do no bodily harm to any residents changing their mind after a resident verbally accosts them? I think you live in a black and white bubble in a world full of greys.

      • ” It is still the homeowner’s responsibility to use common sense … ”

        If you read the section of the law quoted in the article you will see that in that state the homeowner has no obligation to use common sense, retreat, or act in any way to mitigate the use of force.

        If you read the law, the homeowner gets a legal shot at anyone unlawfully on his or her property because the law includes a presumption of imminent bodily harm.

        Personally, I think that is extreme, but the answer is to change to law – not make wistful hypotheticals that might have relevance under some other law.

        • When I made that statement I wasn’t referring to the law. I meant ethically and morally. However even in states where you can kill an intruder where you believe someone’s life is threatened, that isn’t gonna fly if there is a 98-year-old 85-pound woman lying dead in your foyer full of bullet holes. “Intruders” don’t always break and enter first. Still, even if the law said you could legally shoot a wispy little old lady you found rocking in your chair in your living room, only a despicable person would want to.

  3. http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/crimewatch/alleged-getaway-driver-in-home-invasion-triple-homicide-reportedly-knew/article_174ac613-4035-56d5-92f2-6c9cbe89130e.html

    “The Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office released their names and ages Tuesday night. They are Maxwell Cook, 19, Jacob Redfern, 17, and Jaykob Woodruff, 16.

    “The witness statement cited in the affidavit indicates that Rodriguez was familiar with Peters.

    “We know somehow they had some acquaintance, but we don’t know how or why,” Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Nick Mahoney told the Tulsa World.”

  4. “… homeowner’s son … shot them with … an AR-15. There might be a question of whether two men armed with a knife and brass knuckles justifies such a response.”

    As this blog is by/for and attributed to, Jonathan Turley – who should be credited for words written by, under or on authority of him – I shall be sure to bring the above passage to the attention of all potential crime victims, should the dear professor be nominated for SCOTUS …

  5. I’ve hated the felony-murder rule ever since law school. It’s a relic from another era. It doesn’t make any sense to me to convict someone of murder, a crime requiring intentional/knowing killing of another, when the killing was never intentionally or knowingly done by the person charged. I’d engage in straight up jury nullification before I convicted someone under that law.

    • This means you’re uncomfortable with the “but-for” test.
      If she did not drive the getaway car, the three men would still be alive. They would be charged with burglary, and so would she.
      Even though her intent was only to assist in the commission of a felony, the outcome of her act is loss of life.

    • ” … the felony-murder rule ever since law school. … It’s a relic from another era. It doesn’t make any sense to me to convict someone of murder, a crime requiring intentional/knowing killing of another, when the killing was never intentionally or knowingly done by the person charged.”

      Even if we accept the rationalization of the felony-murder rule, how does it make sense when the deceased is one of the felons and the death is justified.

      How can we simultaneously claim the shooting resulting in death was justified for the shooter, but someone who played no part in the deaths is guilty of a crime.

      The deaths are either justified or they area a crime.

      To claim the same specific act is justified for the person committing the act and a crime for a different person who is peripherally linked, makes no sense.

      The Oklahoma Woman’s defense ought to be simplicity itself. She cannot be guilty of murder because the deaths were justified – there was no crime.

  6. So the homeowner was supposed to immediately know that they “only” had knives and brass knuckles?

    And, C. Lund – how would he know that he was “only” protecting objects? How could he possibly know, in this day and age, what their ultimate intentions were? What kind of CandyLand world do you live in, anyway?

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