Man Who Killed Three People in 2018 Crime Spree Sentenced to Five Life Sentences

Man Who Killed Three People in 2018 Crime Spree Sentenced to Five Life Sentences

A Houston man who killed three people and robbed two others during a week-long crime spree in north Houston in 2018 was sentenced Tuesday to five life sentences and $20,000 in fines, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.

“This was a series of horrible and violent crimes, and we were preparing to seek the death penalty,” Ogg said. “This plea agreement ensures that Jose Rodriguez will never again breathe free air and can never appeal these convictions or prison sentences.”

Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, 51, pleaded guilty to three counts of capital murder and two counts of aggravated robbery for a crime spree that claimed three lives in July 2018. Rodriguez was a convicted sex offender who was free on parole at the time and cut off his ankle monitor to escape detection.

On Tuesday, Rodriguez agreed to three sentences of life without parole, which will be stacked, meaning they must be served one at a time, ensuring that he will never leave prison.

Rodriguez also pleaded guilty to two armed robberies and must serve two additional life sentences, also one at a time. He agreed to pay two fines of $10,000, one for each armed robbery. As part of the agreement, Rodriguez cannot appeal the convictions or the sentences.

Rodriguez, a habitual offender who had recently been paroled from prison at the time of the crime spree, did not speak during Tuesday’s hearing except to signal his agreement with the plea. He did not give a reason for his actions.

Monday, July 9, 2018

Rodriguez robbed a man in his 80s and held him at gunpoint during a home invasion.

Friday, July 13, 2018

He killed Pamela Johnson, 62, inside her home in the 12400 block of Bent Pine Drive and stole her car.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

He fatally shot 28-year-old Allie Barrow inside a Mattress Firm store where she worked in the 7000 block of FM 1960.

Monday, July 16, 2018

He shot a 22-year-old METROLift driver in northeast Houston around 3 a.m. The driver survived.

Later that day,

He gunned down Eduardo Magana inside a Mattress One store along the North Freeway near Crosstimbers just after Magana had taken his lunch break.

Assistant District Attorney Samantha Knecht, chief of the DA’s Major Offenders Division, and ADA Mary McFaden, chief of the Domestic Violence Division, handled the case and were preparing to pick a jury in January for a death penalty trial for Rodriguez before reaching the plea agreement.

If the case had gone to trial, a Harris County jury would have had to convict Rodriguez of capital murder, and he would have faced either life in prison without parole or the death penalty. He then would have been allowed to appeal both the conviction and the punishment.

“Our hearts go out to all of the families of the victims and the surviving victims,” Knecht said. “We also want to thank all of the law enforcement officers, including the Houston Police Department and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, for all of their hard work on this case.”