The Genocide of Battered Mothers and their Children

Protection order had been issued in murder-suicide case

In domestic law on August 23, 2011 at 1:50 pm
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The woman who was killed by her estranged husband on Monday had requested a protection order against him last week because he had threatened to take her life.

Margarita Rodriguez, 43, of 212 N. Grace Ave. filed the request in Hall County District Court on Aug. 11. The protection order against Antonio G. Rodriguez, 33, of 4954 W. Highway 30 No. 1 was granted, and a hearing was set for 4 p.m. this Thursday.

“Antonio came to the house where I am staying, and I am afraid for my life because in many occasions he has said he’s gonna kill me,” she wrote. “He has nothing to lose. He’s ill and receiving dialysis. He has hit me and there has been police reports, but the threats of killing has been done a lot.”

According to her description of his visit to the home, it occurred around midnight on Aug. 11.

She also wrote that he told her she owed her life to him because, “thanks to him, I am legal in this country.”

She wrote that her estranged husband, who was born in California, abused drugs and insulted and threatened her whenever he got drugs. She wrote that he used “dirty vocabulary and degrading words” to threaten her because she didn’t want to go back to him.

Hall County sheriff’s Capt. Gregg Ahlers said the protection order was served on Antonio Rodriguez at 4:50 p.m. Aug. 11 at the trailer house where he was living. According to the protection order, he also frequented a mechanic shop at 420 St. Paul Suite 1.

Margarita Rodriguez wrote that her estranged husband was 6 feet 6 inches tall and weighed 170 pounds. He was known to carry a rifle and use marijuana. The couple had two sons together, ages 8 and 9, according to the protection order.

Marleny Hernandez, a friend of Margarita Rodriguez, told The Independent that the couple, whom she referred to as Margarita and Antony, were married in 2002, but their union soon became troubled. She said Margarita Rodriguez, who also had three children living in Mexico, had filed for divorce. She also said the Rodriguezes’ children were at home and asleep at the time of the shooting.

No divorce proceedings involving the Rodriguezes had been filed in Hall County.

According to a press release from the Grand Island Police Department, officers were sent to 212 N. Grace on a report of a domestic disturbance at 4:57 a.m. Monday.

Officers found Margarita Rodriguez in the entryway of 211 N. Grace with a gunshot wound to the head and left leg. She was transported to St. Francis Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 7:18 a.m. Monday. The investigation has revealed that shots were fired at 212 N. Grace and 211 N. Grace, according to the press release.

At approximately 7:42 a.m. Monday, police began a pursuit of the suspect, Antonio Rodriguez. The pursuit began at Old Potash Highway and Diers Avenue and ended on Highway 281 between Highway 30 and Old Highway 30, according to the press release.

Antonio Rodriguez died of a single self-inflicted gunshot wound. No other shots were fired, according to the release.

Officer Butch Hurst said Rodriguez was driving a red Chevrolet pickup. He stopped “on his own” without the use of stop sticks by police, Hurst said.

Highway 281 from Highway 30 to Old Potash Highway was blocked off from approximately 7:42 a.m. to 2:53 p.m. Monday, he said.

The Police Department continued on Tuesday to investigate the death of Margarita Rodriguez. The death of Antonio Rodriguez was being investigated by agencies of the South Central Area Law Enforcement Services in preparation for a future grand jury, according to the Police Department’s press release.

Nebraska law requires a grand jury to be called whenever someone dies in police custody or while being taken into custody.

Although rather rare, a grand jury was convened within the last month in Hall County to hear the matter of an inmate death.

In late July, a grand jury determined the death of Tomas Gonzalez, 23, at the Hall County Jail was an accident.

According to court documents filed in district court on July 29, the grand jury found “there was no criminal conduct on the part of any individual that cause or contributed to” his death.

Gonzalez died on June 9 after being transported to St. Francis Medical Center from the jail. He had been arrested on June 7 and charged with possession of methamphetamine.

Michael Polk, an Omaha attorney representing Gonzalez’s family, said Gonzalez ingested meth when he was arrested.



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