A Texas man faces up to life in prison after being found guilty of gunning down an unarmed neighbor while complaining about the noise coming from his neighbor’s birthday party for his wife and daughter.
Retired Houston area fire-fighter, Raul Rodriguez, was found guilty of murder by a jury despite his testimony that he was defending himself after fearing for his life. Rodriguez and his defense were claiming that the defendant was immune under Texas’ version of the “Stand Your Ground” law.
Rodriguez was complaining about the noise coming from Kelly Danaher’s house during a party for his wife and daughter when he decided to approach his neighbor about the issue. Advancing on his neighbor’s house with video camera in hand, Rodriguez begins to argue with Danaher.
In the 22-minute long video, Rodriguez can be heard speaking with 911 dispatcher, saying “my life is in danger now” and “these people are going to go try and kill me.” He then said “I’m standing my ground here,” and shot Danaher after somebody seemed to grab his camera.
Mindy Danaher says she was relieved when she heard the verdict and is glad that justice has been served.
“I’m just glad that he can’t hurt anybody else. That’s my main thing,” she said.
“I love my husband and I miss him so much.”
Texas prosecutor Kelli Johnson said that the Texas stand-your-ground law does not apply to Rodriguez in this situation because he provoked the argument by arming himself, rather than calmly asking his neighbor’s to turn down the music. Johnson states that Rodriguez lured the man into the street while wielding his handgun.
“This is not what stand your ground is,” Johnson said. “Stand your ground is something the law takes very seriously. The law makes it very clear” when a situation merits the law.
The trial’s punishment phase is set to be complete by the end of Thursday.