Bank Slayings

By: Tregg White
By: Tregg White

It took a little more than 3 hours for a jury of 10 men and 2 women find Gabriel Rodriguez guilty of five counts of murder and guilty of five counts of use of a weapon to commit a felony. The charges stemming from the September 2002 Norfolk bank slayings where five people were killed.

Prosecutor Joe Smith argued that even though Rodriguez didn't pull the trigger that killed five people, he was involved as an assessory to murder and was eligible to be charged with murder. The defense argued Rodriguez was at the wrong place at the wrong time. The jury sided with the prosecution and unamiously voted Rodriguez was guilty on all counts.

For the families of the victims' it's been a long and exhausting year and half. Christine Tuttle, the daughter of Evonne Tuttle says she's glad it's over. Tuttle says, "there's a few more things, but glad it's over."

Madison County Attorney Joe Smith says they've jumped the biggest hurdles, getting four juries to vote in favor of the state's cases against the four suspects. Smith says, "anyone in the bank that day felt like they had an obligation, certainly hoped I've helped and the law enforcement have also helped."

Gabriel Rodriguez is scheduled for sentencing April 23. Erick Vela, Jose Sandoval and Jorge Galindo all who have been found guilty and deemed eligible for the death penalty phase are waiting for their sentencing. Three judge panels will decide if Vela, Sandoval and Galindo will get life or death.


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