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Felon Accused In Criminal Rampage That Killed Three People In Houston Is Arraigned

Prosecutors file capital murder charges against Jose Gilberto Rodriguez and he is denied bond

Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, the Texas felon accused in a criminal rampage that killed three people in the Houston area and who was arrested last week, was arraigned on capital murder charges Monday.

Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, the Texas felon accused in a criminal rampage that killed three people in the Houston area and who was arrested last week, was arraigned on capital murder charges Monday.

Rodriguez, 46, was also denied bond during the hearing in Houston. Investigators say Rodriguez is linked to the shooting deaths of three people over four days in the Houston area this month, including two people who worked at mattress stores. He was arrested in a stolen car last week.

Rodriguez had cut off his ankle monitor several days before the first killing, sending an alert to the parole division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ), authorities said.

The monitor stopped transmitting three days later, and an arrest warrant was issued that day. But investigators didn’t identify him as a suspect in the killings until a week later.

Experts in criminal justice have noted that sometimes officers have to deal with hundreds of alerts about violations that, in many cases, are false signals, such as those stemming from a malfunctioning ankle monitor.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo wants to create a system to assess parolees’ criminal history and prioritize who should be sought before others by using “risk-assessment categories.” The offender with a history of sexual abuse, for instance, would be sought before another with white-collar offenses.

Acevedo’s immediate concern is the more than 500 parolees with a violent history living in the Houston area and facing an active arrest warrant for violating terms of their parole.

He wants to take the roughly 10 Houston officers who focus on parole violators and draw an officer from each law enforcement agency in Harris County to create a task force of about 40 people to go after re-offenders before their actions turn violent.

“Teeth have to be provided by front-line law enforcement,” Acevedo said. “I don’t believe we’re doing as good a job in law enforcement because of lean resources.”

Rodriguez is suspected of killing a 62-year-old woman whose body was found at her home on July 13, a 28-year-old employee of a Houston mattress store found dead the next day and a 57-year-old man who worked at another mattress store in Houston on July 16.

Rodriguez also is a suspect in the robbery, shooting and wounding of a Metro bus driver and two home-invasion robberies, investigators said. Investigators say a handgun was found in the stolen car Rodriguez was driving when he was arrested.

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