Deliberations resume in trial of man accused of fatal hit-and-run

RIVERSIDE – Jury deliberations will resume Tuesday in the trial of a man accused of running over and killing a father of three at whom the defendant became angry during a stare-down confrontation outside a Riverside liquor store.

Hector Alejandro Rodriguez, 34, could face 26 years to life in prison if convicted in the July 2009 death of Hector Angel.

The prosecution and defense made their closing statements Friday, after which Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mac Fisher sent the jury behind closed doors to start reviewing evidence in the case. The trial began Jan. 9.

Rodriguez is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside.

According to court papers, the Mexican national attacked Angel after a minor confrontation outside Bi-Rite Liquor at the intersection of Tyler Street and Wells Avenue. Rodriguez had gone to the location with a friend to purchase ice and other items, using another friend’s Chevrolet Silverado pickup to haul the goods home.

Angel, his two adult sons and several of their friends and acquaintances were socializing in the parking lot when the defendant pulled up, according to the prosecution.

After buying his items at the store, Rodriguez and his male companion got into a staring contest with Angel and his associates, leading to a brief exchange of words between the two groups, court papers state.

According to witnesses, Rodriguez drove out of the parking lot but abruptly made a U-turn on the street and came back.

“They saw the truck come to a stop, the front passenger side door open and then quickly shut,” Deputy District Attorney Sam Shouka wrote in a trial brief. “The defendant then accelerated at a high rate of speed and ran Hector Angel over.”

Rodriguez fled the area, and Angel was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital, where he died a short time later of multiple traumatic injuries, according to Shouka.

No one else was injured.

The pickup was discovered abandoned four days later in Santa Ana, investigators said.

Based on eyewitness statements, the statements of Rodriguez’s passenger and surveillance video from the liquor store, detectives obtained an arrest warrant naming Rodriguez. Criminal charges were filed as a search got underway to locate him.

Rodriguez was arrested and taken into custody without incident in Mexico in August 2011. He was extradited back to the United States six months later.


RIVERSIDE – Jury deliberations will resume tomorrow in the trial of a man accused of running over and killing a father of two following a stare- down confrontation outside a Riverside liquor store.

Hector Alejandro Rodriguez, a 34-year-old Mexican national, could face 26 years to life in prison if convicted in the July 2009 death of Hector Angel.

The prosecution and defense made their closing statements Friday, after which Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mac Fisher sent the jury behind closed doors to begin reviewing evidence in the case. The panel did not meet today because of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

According to court papers, the defendant attacked Angel after a minor confrontation outside Bi-Rite Liquor at the intersection of Tyler Street and Wells Avenue. Rodriguez had gone there with a friend to purchase ice and other items, using another friend’s Chevy Silverado pickup to haul the goods home.

Angel, his two adult sons and several of their friends and acquaintances were socializing in the parking lot when the defendant pulled up, according to the prosecution.

After buying his items at the store, Rodriguez and his male companion got into a staring contest with Angel and his associates, leading to a brief exchange of words between the two groups, court papers state.

According to witnesses, the defendant drove out of the parking lot but abruptly made a u-turn on the street and came back.

”They saw the truck come to a stop, the front passenger side door open and then quickly shut,” Deputy District Attorney Sam Shouka wrote in a trial brief. ”The defendant then accelerated at a high rate of speed and ran Hector Angel over.”

Rodriguez fled the area, and the victim was rushed to Riverside Community Hospital, where he died a short time later of multiple traumatic injuries, according to Shouka.

No one else was hurt. The pickup was discovered abandoned four days later in Santa Ana, investigators said.

Based on eyewitness statements, the statements of Rodriguez’s passenger and surveillance video from the liquor store, detectives obtained an arrest warrant naming the defendant.

Criminal charges were filed as a search began to locate him.

Rodriguez was arrested without incident in Mexico in August 2011. He was extradited back to the United States six months later and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Robert Presley Jail in Riverside.

Leave a Reply