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Rodriquez’s Sentence May Impact Future Stand Your Ground Cases

Raul Rodriquez said Texas' "stand your ground" law gave him the right to use deadly force two years ago when he shot and killed his neighbor. The jury didn't agree and convicted Rodriquez of murder two weeks ago. KUHF's Bill Stamps was in the courtroom as Rodriquez learned how much time he'll spend behind bars for his crime.



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Forty years. That’s how long the jury said Raul Rodriquez should be locked up for killing his neighbor Kelly Danaher in 2010. Rodriquez video taped the incident that night as he went to the Danaher residence and told them they were making too much noise.

Prosecutor Donna Logan says that video tape in effect was her star witness. And without it, who knows what would have happened.

“I think it would’ve been a completely different case. The video tape, the length the words, the intent that he shows and the lack of provocation on the part of the party goers, I think it would’ve make a much more difficult case had we not had all that on video.”

Rodriquez says the tape shows he was “standing his ground” and was “in fear of his life.”

Fellow prosecutor Kelly Johnson says shooting unarmed people in front of their own home is now what the stand your ground law is about. She wanted the jury to give a life sentence but is satisfied with the outcome.

“I think when you’ve got a man, who day after day decides that he’s going to do what he wants and dominates an entire neighborhood, I think it’s clear by the verdict that that’s not going to be appreciated.”

Rodriquez’s attorney Neal Young believes the case will impact how future stand your ground claims are dealt with.

“Well I think that this case is going to be the beginning of a lot of cases where people are charged with murder because they stood their ground and made a split second decision that the prosecution doesn’t agree with or the police don’t agree with. That’s going to be the trend that people who stand their ground in public places, and who lawfully have a weapon, and who use deadly force have a very good chance of being charged with murder.”

Members of the Danaher family declined to talk to the media after the sentencing. They say it’s been a long ordeal and they’re ready to get on with their lives.

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