A 21-year-old Collinsville woman is charged with first degree murder and first degree burglary after a home invasion robbery that left her three accomplices dead.
Investigators say Elizabeth Rodriguez and three friends--Maxwell Cook, 18, Jacob Redfearn, 18, and Jaykob Woodruff, 15--broke into a garage at a Broken Arrow home and stole speakers last Monday morning. They returned that night with Cook, Redfearn, and Woodruff dressed in black to break into and search the rest of the home.
However, as Rodriguez, the group's getaway driver, waited in the car outside, the homeowner's son awoke to the noise of the three young men entering through a glass back door. Zach Peters, 23, grabbed an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and confronted the intruders, one of whom was armed with a knife, and another who was armed with brass knuckles. Peters opened fire, and called 9-1-1. When police arrived, they discovered two of the intruders dead in the kitchen. The third lay dead in the driveway after attempting to escape the home after he was shot.
Several hours later, Rodriguez turned herself in to police. Investigators say she admitted to planning the robbery and says, "We just thought we could get more. We were greedy." She says she understands the homeowner's fear and his legal right to defend himself, but wishes that he had aimed for their legs.
The young woman is now charged in Wagoner County with three counts of first degree murder and three counts of first degree burglary.
Although the woman admits to the burglary, she claims she is not guilty of murder, saying, "I didn't plan this. I wouldn't plan to kill any of them. They were family." She continues, "I feel responsible for the actions that were taken place and I feel sad and upset about their deaths and their murders. But I don’t feel responsible for their murders."
Unfortunately for Rodriguez, state law is very clear about first degree felony murder:
A person also commits the crime of murder in the first degree, regardless of malice, when that person or any other person takes the life of a human being during, or if the death of a human being results from, the commission or attempted commission of murder of another person, shooting or discharge of a firearm or crossbow with intent to kill, intentional discharge of a firearm or other deadly weapon into any dwelling or building as provided in Section 1289.17A of this title, forcible rape, robbery with a dangerous weapon, kidnapping, escape from lawful custody, eluding an officer, first degree burglary, first degree arson, unlawful distributing or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances or synthetic controlled substances, trafficking in illegal drugs, or manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled dangerous substance. 21 O.S § 701.7(B)
In other words, when a death occurs in the commission of one of the above specified violent felonies, any person involved in the commission of the act may be charged with first degree murder--even if those that died were co-conspirators and friends.
First degree murder is punishable by life in prison or life without parole. Each count of first degree burglary is punishable by 7 to 20 years in prison.