Sunday, January 21, 2018
News Roundup

Spring Hill woman who lured man with sex, then beat and robbed him, gets 10 years

BROOKSVILLE — The Spring Hill woman accused of robbing and beating a man after luring him to a home with plans for sex has taken a plea deal that will send her to prison for as long as a decade.

Rebecca Marie Rodriguez, 26, pleaded no contest to robbery, grand theft, kidnapping and battery and was sentenced Thursday to a 10-year prison term.

Had she been convicted at trial, Rodriguez could have faced a life sentence.

"I think the sentence was certainly appropriate, based on the devious nature of the plot to lure the victim to the house and then attack, rob and beat him," said Assistant State Attorney Larry Houston.

Rodriguez's public defender, Michael Lamberti, said he discussed the deal with his client after interviewing the victim and other witnesses.

"She believed it was in her best interest," Lamberti said.

Investigators say Rodriguez met a man at a Hess station in Brooksville on July 8. The two exchanged several text messages and arranged to meet for sex at a house on Powell Road, south of Brooksville, where Rodriguez was staying.

The man, who was not identified, showed up, and they headed to a bedroom. By that point, investigators said, Rodriguez had hatched a plan to rob the man. She told her cousins — Joshua Ray Rodriguez, 23, Jeremiah Rodriguez, 20, and 17-year-old Brigdare "BJ" Lopez — to hide in the house and then wait outside the bedroom door until they heard her say, "Oh, that feels so good."

Hearing their cue, the cousins barged in and began to punch and kick the man, Hernando sheriff's detectives said. Rebecca Rodriguez's grandfather, who lives in the house, heard the scuffle and asked what was going on.

To avoid a run-in with the grandfather, the group tied the man's hands behind his back, threw him out of a window and hid him in a shed, investigators said. They took money from his wallet and hit him in the back with a baseball bat.

The suspects then blindfolded the man, forced him into his 1996 Honda Accord and drove to Goldsmith Road, south of Brooksville, where they left him and drove off in his car, authorities said.

Investigators identified the suspects after the man provided directions to the house where he had met Rodriguez. All four defendants were charged with robbery, grand theft auto and kidnapping. Lopez, Jeremiah Rodriguez and Joshua Rodriguez were also charged with battery.

Rebecca Rodriguez has prior convictions for battery, grand theft, larceny and fraud, state records show.

Lopez, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, has been charged as an adult. Houston said he is currently negotiating with all three co-defendants. He expects that all three will serve prison time.

Reach Tony Marrero at [email protected] or (352) 848-1431. On Twitter: @TMarreroTimes and @HernandoTimes.

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