Day 3 of the capital murder trial of Rosendo Rodriguez saw Rodriguez himself explain his side of the night of Sept. 11, 2005. He didn't take the stand though. Instead, jurors saw a video taped statement Rodriguez gave to LPD officers a month after he was arrested for the beating death of Summer Baldwin. In that statement Rodriguez recounts his claim that Baldwin's murder was in self defense; that it was her that first tried to kill him that night when she pulled out a knife and demanded his wallet after he claims they had consensual sex. He says he choked her until she passed out and died, but otherwise did not hit her.
But prosecution witness Dr. Shreetar Natarajan, former Lubbock county medical examiner testified Wednesday that Baldwin suffered over 70 injuries before she died, and that blunt force trauma was the cause of her death. In his statement, Rodriguez said he noticed no injuries on Baldwin when he picked her up that night, and investigators have established that Rodriguez was the last person to see Baldwin alive. That strategy by the prosecution has placed Rodriguez as the only person who could have beaten Baldwin to death that night.
Testimony continues Thursday. Dr. Natarajan is expected to retake the stand.