Testimony continues in trial of man who fatally shot teacher

June 11, 2012 4:01:14 PM PDT
Prosecutors called more witnesses Monday in the murder trial of Raul Rodriguez, who's accused of killing his neighbor in a confrontation that was caught on camera.

What the jury will have to decide is whether his actions were in self-defense or murder.

Sitting at the defense table, Rodriguez continued to wipe away tears as prosecutors presented another day of testimony in the murder trial against him.

He is accused of killing his neighbor, teacher Kelly Danaher, in May of 2010. At its heart is a chilling video made by Rodriguez himself as he went over to Danaher's yard to complain about noise.

Prosecutors say the gunshot heard on the video was fired from a weapon presented by a ballistics expert at trial Monday. Also taking the stand was a family friend who was at the party that night, testifying that until the shooting, everyone was in a upbeat mood.

Our legal analyst says the fact that a video exists is a problem for the defense.

"Trying to record something yourself suggests that you question your own acts, and that doesn't look good in front of a jury," said Joel Androphy.

Defense attorneys have said that Rodriguez was fearing for his life, and acting in self-defense. You can even hear some of that language in the video as he says he is afraid for his life and tells the victims to get away from him before opening fire.

As a medical examiner laid out to the jury the gun shot wounds suffered by Danaher that night, our legal analyst says the self-defense argument will be a difficult one to win in this case.

"If you go there with a gun, it tells your average juror that you're there to start trouble. If you weren't there to start trouble, you wouldn't be carrying a gun," Androphy said.

Also on Monday, Bill Brown, an investigator with the Harris County District Attorney's Office, took the stand as a prosecution witness. He told the jury that part of his job is to extract information from cell phones. In the case of Rodriguez, he extracted 88 text messages sent and received between 10:32 and 11:54 the night of the shooting.

The trial is expected to wrap up sometime this week.


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