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June 21, 2014

Case closed in Rodriguez death

DA says Moore PD acted within the law

MOORE — More than four months after the death of Luis Rodriguez in Moore, the case has been pronounced closed.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn confirmed Friday that he will not be pressing charges against members of the Moore Police Department in regards to the death of Rodriguez. He said the evidence he was presented didn’t warrant any action being taken against those involved.

“All I know is that what they did under the law was appropriate,” Mashburn told The Transcript.

Rodriguez, 44, died Feb. 15 after an altercation with Moore officers Joseph Bradley, Brian Clarkston and Ryan Minard and off-duty Oklahoma game wardens Tyler Howser and Chad Strang, who were working private security at the Warren Theatre. According to Mashburn, it was Rodriguez’s physical health that caused his death and not the actions of the police and security guards.

“I wanted to make sure I went through the facts then turn to the medical testimony to see what caused Mr. Rodriguez’s death,” Mashburn said. “And basically what I got out of it is, he had an enlarged heart, with a thick left ventricle wall that during the confrontation or struggle, it basically caused his heart to fail. None of the actions of the officers — the knee strikes, the things that took place in the scuffle — led to his death. It was the fact that he was in a struggle with officers and caused his heart to fail is what I got.”

Despite Mashburn’s conclusion, Rodriguez’s wife, Nair, has a different opinion.

“They killed my husband,” Nair said.

In April, the office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide. According to the ME’s report, no drugs or alcohol were found in Rodriguez’s system, but he was diagnosed with pulmonary edema and congestion with intra-alveolar hemorrhage.

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