BEACON TRANSCRIPT – Rosendo Rodriguez III, also knowns as the suitcase killer has been found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to death. The inmate, who also confessed to the slaying of a 16-year-old from Lubbock, has repeatedly filed for a stay of execution through his attorney but denied each time. Rodriguez III will become the fourth inmate executed in the state of Texas this year.
Suitcase Killer Claimed He Murdered Victim in Self Defense
In 2005, several workers at the Lubbock city landfill would discover a discarded brand-new suitcase containing the remains of 29-year-old Summer Baldwin, a woman who Rodriguez III previously man and with whom he had consensual sex in his hotel room. Baldwin was ten weeks pregnant when the suitcase killer assaulted her.
The authorities managed to identify the owner of the suitcase by scanning price tags and barcodes and to track down this information to a Lubbock shopping center where security cameras reveal Rodriguez III buying the case.
Following his arrest at the end of 2005, Rodriguez III admitted killing Baldwin but told the authorities that he acted in self-defense, as the woman threatened him with a knife after having sex in the man’s hotel room on the 12th of September 2005.
As the prosecution noted, the accused, who was at that time a marine reservist, arrived in Lubbock to participate in a training session, which included martial arts classes. Matt Powell, the Lubbock County District Attorney, commented that given Rodriguez’s training, he became very good at murdering people.
The prosecution managed to dismount the man’s self-defense theory by quoting from the coroner’s report which clearly stated that the woman was hit at least 50 times with a blunt object and that she was alive at the time Rodriguez III stuffed her in the case that was later to be disposed of in the city landfill.
Rodriguez III has also confessed to murdering 16-year-old Joanna Rogers, a high school teen he met on an online chat room and raping at least five other women, including his former high school girlfriend.