The Norman Transcript

June 4, 2014

OSBI hands over findings to county DA regarding death of Luis Rodriguez at theater

By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The investigation into the death of Luis Rodriguez is now complete, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, but it’s now up to Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn to decide if charges will be filed in the case.

“What we do on cases is put together a comprehensive written report, then we deliver it to the district attorney,” OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said. “And that’s what we did in this case. And we also delivered a copy to the Moore Police Department.”

Rodriguez, 44, died Feb. 15 after an altercation with three members of the Moore Police Department and two off-duty Oklahoma game wardens working private security at the Warren Theatre. Rodriguez’s wife, Nair, said she believes her husband was beaten to death in the process.

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.

Scalp contusions and abrasions on the right forearm, hands, abdomen and knees also were found on Rodriguez.

After a couple of days of investigating Rodriguez’s death, the Moore Police Department asked the OSBI to take over the case.

According to its website, the OSBI Investigative Services Division primarily exists to serve local law enforcement by providing exceptional investigative services.

OSBI agents offer a number of services, including collecting and preserving evidence at crime scenes, participating in undercover investigations to obtain information and evidence, interviewing witnesses and apprehending criminals.

Mashburn was not made available for comment, but his office stated that it would take time to go through the evidence.

There also was no word given on when the DA’s office would release the Warren Theatre security video to the public. Rodriguez family attorney, Michael Brooks-Jimenez, who saw the video for the first time two weeks ago, said it captures the entire incident and proves members of the Moore Police Department were culpable in Rodriguez’s death.

When Mashburn spoke to The Transcript last week, he laid out a general time table on releasing the video.

“Until the OSBI is done with it, I won’t be releasing anything,” Mashburn said May 28. “But once the OSBI is done with it and their investigation is complete, then I’m sure it will be made available.”

Brooks-Jimenez said he had been trying to get a copy of the security footage for months but were not given access. It wasn’t until three weeks ago that he and Nair Rodriguez were able to see the video at the OSBI offices.

“Mrs. Rodriguez gave her statement a week before last,” Brooks-Jimenez said. “Part of the conditions that we placed on that interview was that OSBI would give us a chance to see the Warren Theatre video. So we had a chance to be able to see the video, and it’s not the way the Moore police chief characterized it.

“He basically said that his officers did nothing wrong. There are things you can see in the video that clearly don’t bear out those assertions.”

Brown said she is unable to give details on what the OSBI concluded from its investigation, which was led by Adam Whitney, but they have been in contact with the DA’s office throughout the process and will be made available for questions Mashburn may have.

“By law, I cannot give that out,” Brown said. “It’s a statute that all of our information that we gather in this investigation is confidential. Our role in this case is to be the fact finders. So that’s why the interviews are performed, evidence was collected and analyzed.

“The autopsy report of Mr. Rodriguez will be included in the report. All the information, all the facts that we found. And we’re very comprehensive. It takes a while. It’s been several months. We take our time. The DA will have a lot of information to go through.”

Michael Kinney

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