News-Sun photo by KATARA SIMMONS Jonathan Rodriguez makes an appearance in court Thursday morning at the Highlands County Courthouse in Sebring. Rodriguez is charged with first-degree capital murder, kidnapping and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Aaron Doty.
published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Defendants in Doty case granted second extension
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING - Judge Angela Cowden granted the public defenders requests for a second extension for defendants Jonathan Ray Rodriguez, 22, and Kenneth Edward Felipe Jr., 19, Thursday morning at the Highlands County Courthouse.
Rodriguez and Felipe are co-defendants in the murder of Aaron Doty, which took place June 10, 2012. Doty's body was found a couple days following a brutal beating by the defendants which left the 20-year-old unconscious outside of a party in Sun 'N Lake.
Rodriguez and Felipe face first degree felony capital murder charges. The defendants are also facing charges of kidnapping (facilitate felony), a first degree felony, and tampering/fabricating with physical evidence, a third degree felony.
Both Rodriguez and Felipe were present at the hearing Thursday morning. The defendants were handcuffed and dressed in black and white striped jumpsuits as they appeared before Cowden. Felipe was the first inmate on the court docket Thursday.
"We have preliminary depositions scheduled," said Byron Hileman, Bartow, Felipe's public defender. "We will need an additional two or three months for preparations."
The prosecution attorney had no objection to the requests.
Just before lunch, Rodriguez was presented to Cowden alongside his public defender, Robert Gray.
"There are depositions being added. There are several expert witnesses that need to be spoken to, your honor ... It will be a while before this case is ready to be tried," Rodriguez's attorney said.
The attorney also asked Cowden to reschedule the pre-trial conference; the state again offered no objection.
Cowden scheduled the next pre-trial conference for Rodriguez and Felipe for 8:30 a.m. April 18.
This is the second extension the defendants have been granted since their grand jury indictments in October.
Doty's mother, Brenda, spoke briefly to the News-Sun as she exited the courtroom Thursday morning.
She said the family continues to support one another throughout the trial. Doty has confidence that the state attorneys will do their job to the best of their ability to bring justice to her son's crime.
Doty case (by: Pat-NC - 2/24/2013)
this is starting to sound alot like another murder case....the one involving the murder of Trooper Nick Sottile...delays..delays...delays. what has happened to our justice system today???
It's a hate crime! (by: True That - 2/22/2013)
These guys are ethnic and Aaron was not, charge them and the whole lot at the party with a hate crime.
2nd chances? (by: A Grandmother! - 2/22/2013)
I do NOT think DOTY had an extension!? WHY let these 2 (and the rest of the trash) get extensions? Just get it over and let them suffer a bit for their actions! They deserve trhe fullest extend of the law. Do not allow them to make one more person suffer because they are low lives!
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