Reporting Tony Hanson
Filed underCrime and Justice, Heard On, Local, News, Philadelphia, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
By Tony Hanson
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The alleged Kensington strangler is scheduled to stand trial today.
Antonio Rodriguez, 23, is charged with murdering three women, a crime spree that terrorized the neighborhood for months. The judge will deal with motions first and then trial will begin.
Antonio Rodriguez is charged with murdering Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini, and Casey Mahoney and authorities say he is linked to the crimes by DNA and he confessed.
Prosecutor Carlos Vega said after an earlier hearing, Rodriguez identified each of the victims, “and went into some detail as to how he killed them, and what pleasure he derived after he had killed them.”
The confessions were detailed during an earlier hearing.
“He would always approach them asking if they were working, he was offering money to have sex,” Vega said. “Then, after he would lure them to a secure place, he began having sex and would strangle them. The women resisted, but he was too strong and he ended up strangling them. Then he would basically pose the body.”
DNA provided the crucial break in the case. Homicide Unit Captain James Clark announced the arrest of Antonio Rodriguez after investigators put a name to the DNA found at each of the crime scenes and went public.
Vega presented the DNA evidence linking Rodriguez to the murders at an earlier hearing.
“There was DNA evidence left at the scene, each of the murder scenes. The defendant confessed to each of the murders, and identified each of the victims and went into some detail as to how he killed them and what pleasure he derived after he killed them.”
Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty. This is a non-jury trial, so a judge will decide the case. The prosecution is not seeking the death penalty, so a first degree murder conviction would carry a life sentence.