HUNTSVILLE, Texas – Attorneys for a condemned Texas inmate who became known as the “suitcase killer” looked to the Supreme court of the V. S. to halt the execution set for Tuesday evening for the death of a 29-year-old Lubbock woman who are beaten, naked body was stuffed in a new piece of luggage and threw it in the trash.
Rosendo Rodriguez III, who turned 38 Monday also known that the killing of a 16-year-old Lubbock girl and disposing of her body in the trash in a suitcase.
He would be the fourth prisoner executed this year in Texas, the nation’s busiest death penalty state.
The employees at the city landfill in September 2005, spotted and opened the suitcase, discovering the body of Summer Baldwin, who was 10 weeks pregnant. Detectives used a barcode label sewn to the left to determine it was purchased a day earlier at a Walmart, and debit card records and store surveillance video identified the buyer as Rodriguez, a Marine reservist from San Antonio who had been in Lubbock for training, which included martial arts fighting.
He was found guilty and sentenced to die for raping and killing Baldwin. Court records show Rodriguez was also linked to at least five other sexual assaults and is known to killing Joanna Rogers, 16-year-old missing for a year when her mummified remains were found in a bag in the city dump.
Rodriguez’s lawyers said the lower courts improperly rejected an appeal that focuses on the medical examiner’s testimony about Baldwin’s autopsy and her injuries.
In a filing Monday to the Supreme court, the attorney Seth Kretzer said the judges were his “last hope” to show Rodriguez was innocent and for a hearing in connection with a recent announcement of the settlement of a whistleblower lawsuit — lawyers previously said was unknown to them — who claimed the coroner delegated some tasks to unqualified subordinates. In practice, the questions about “the credibility and admissibility of the medical examiner’s testimony in this case,” Kretzer said.
Assistant Texas Attorney General Tomee Heining said the high court of appeal was incorrect, untimely and meritless and “nothing more than a last-ditch attempt” to undermine scientific findings that are unfavorable for Rodriguez.
The lawsuit involved a dismissed ex-employee who will not start the work until many years after Rodriguez went to court. The scheme included a statement that there was no reason to doubt the scientific validity of the findings or opinions by the medical examiner’s office, according to the officers of justice. Court records showed the medical examiner personally performed Boudewijn autopsy.
The Records also described the mother-of-four as a prostitute.
Rodriguez lived in San Antonio with his parents and was arrested days after Baldwin’s body was discovered. Three weeks later, he Lubbock police a statement saying that he killed her in self-defense when she pulled a knife on him after the two had consensual sex on Sept. 12, 2005, in a hotel room.
Testimony in 2008, a study showed Baldwin had about 50 blunt wounds, and may his life, as she was folded in the suitcase and threw it in a recycle bin. The content is then wound up in the city dump.
Jurors convicted Rodriguez of capital murder heard from five women, including his high school girlfriend, who testified he raped. Jurors also heard about his confession to the killing of Rogers, the 16-year-old Lubbock girl that he was in the first instance, in an online chat room.
“He is very good at killing people,” Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell, who prosecuted Rodriguez, said Monday. “Very quiet, very calculated.
“The women were terrified of him. He uses his charm and good looks and status for a long time to the abuse of women,” Powell said. “In this case, the right man to make the appropriate punishment.”