Second time self-defense claim rejected
HOUSTON Few have forgotten the morning of May 3, 2010 when learning that Kelly Danaher, 36, Huffman ISD teacher, husband and father had been gunned down on his own property.
Now, the man that was behind the pistol has been convicted for a second time of murder. The punishment phase of that trial began on Tuesday. Previously, he had been sentenced to 40 years in the penitentiary.
Raul Rodrigues got a second trail, his previous conviction overturned because the jury instructions were deemed unclear.
Rodriquez had claimed that when he went with his video camera and his pistol to a party he had determined was too loud that he was acting in self defense to shoot and kill the teacher. This was after calling in law enforcement that had patrolled to the party without incident.
Kelli Johnson, the prosecutor in the case had summerized in the latest case, This case is about provocation, pure and simple. The law doesnt allow you to create a situation and then claim self-defense.
Rodriguez had claimed that when he went to his neighbors party he had been lunged at by party attendees and was within his rights to defend himself with deadly force under the Texas stand your ground law.
In summary, Paul Sampson, Rodriguezs lawyer argued, This case is not about a loud party. Its about the split-second he had to make a decision when he was in fear for his life.
The jury deliberated three hours before reaching their decision in the last case, convicting Rodriguez. They had also viewed the videotape taken by Rodriguez of the incident several times.
The video tape clearly makes audible that the man making the tape says several times, I am in fear for my life. He had also printed out a copy of the public nuissance law and planned to use it and the video tape to authorities to make his point.
He was also recorded himself talking on his cell phone and saying he did not intend to lose to these people. A comment that presecutor Johnson did not let slip past attention. She also brought attention to his actions prior to firing twice and killing Danaher.
As the minutes tick by, he gets angrier and angrier, finally, he beckons the men from the porch out to the street.