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Joshua Rodriguez Guilty of Murder of Rival Dealer US Wants 45 Years Citing Emojis

by Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Book Substack

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Sept 12 –  Joshua Rodriguez had three lawyers for a murder and marijuana dealing trial that began on May 31. But on May 30 for the final pre-trial conference, he was not produced. Inner City Press was there.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York  Judge Jed S. Rakoff said that the rulings on motions in limine would have to wait for May 31, before jury selection.

 He said he'd put 12 in the jury box then question and allow challenges.

 Each side wants 15 minutes for opening arguments. 

 The murder in question was of Jaquan Millien, in the Webster Houses in The Bronx. 

On May 31, the US put on the stand a witness who found the father dead and the son shot and called 911. The defense pointed out that he was working off the books.

Next was Detective Brian MacMurray. He authenticated a photo of the son's bleeding arm with entry and exit wounds. There was a gasp for air in the gallery, and some people walked out. The defense asked if he really got any evidence in the hospitals, including Bronx Lebanon where the deceased was on a bed - another photo. The AUSA held up the bloody shirt, now brown and not red.

On June 1, Millien's then-girlfriend Ms. Yanellie Ramirez with an immunity order testified that she did not tell the police who came to her apartment door about Millien's fight with Joshua Rodriguez, who she called "Suave" - since Suave's girlfriend lived right next to her and could hear everything.

  A law enforcement source told Inner City Press that the case was "dead" until, after three years, many of the witnesses had moved away and proved willing to talk.

  On cross, Rodriguez' lawyer sought to learn more about another man who had fought in the building, a man known as Cracker. The lawyer objected when, on re-direct, Ramirez was allowed to answer that Cracker's fight had not been with Millien.

On June 2, Rodriguez' counsel cross-examined the government's witness who testified about rap videos on Rodriguez' Facebook page.  Then a medical examiner now in Fort Pierce, Florida, an NYPD bullet expert, and a woman from the NYC Human Resources Administration about Rodriguez' use of his benefits cards. (He was taking food and cash assistance during this time).

  With the jury out of the room but Inner City Press in the gallery, Rodriguez was scrolling through his Facebook page, pointing out videos to one of his lawyers. At day's end, with the US having only two more witnesses for Monday, the defense said it may call a witness about the rap videos.

On June 6, Joshua Rodriguez was found guilty. Sentencing was set for September 19, 2023.

Days after, the jury notes were docketed: The jurors chose Number 7 as the foreperson, and send out Note 2: "Your Honor, May we assume that either the murder weapon was never found or some legal / technical reason prevented it from being entered into evidence? Same question re victim's phone and wallet."

Then the conviction(s).

On September 12, the US Attorney's Office put in its sentencing submission, asking for a sentence of 45 years, emphasizing that two years after the death of the father and shooting of the son, who cried, the defendant posted a photo saying I Don't Care If He Cried, with emojis.
The defense wants less than 35. The sentencing is set for September 19 at 4pm.

More on Substack, from forthcoming Endless Sentences, here

The case is US v. Rodriguez, 22-cr-316 (Rakoff) 


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