After a trial that lasted one month, a jury declared both Jeffrey McCreary and Destin Lee Withers guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Mayorama Denise Rodriguez, 20, more than two years ago.
The jury of ten men and two women deliberated three full days and came to their unanimous decisions late Friday, June 13. They began hearing evidence on May 12.
Each defendant took a turn in the witness box to claim that it was the other man who pulled the trigger four times to shoot the young woman with a 9mm handgun. Evidence suggested that the men became fed up with the woman’s loud wailing and drama and that she caused confrontations by making false claims of rape. Rodriguez’s body was found dumped at the side of a dead-end road in Escondido on February 1, 2012.
The jury found that it was McCreary who personally used a firearm and that he was a felon in possession of a firearm, two special allegations that were charged by prosecutor Jodi Breton.
"McCreary faces 100 to life and Withers faces 27 to life plus time for his meth sales case that was pending when he committed the murder," said Breton after the verdict was read.
Both McCreary, 43, and Withers, 38, have lengthy criminal records.
Judge Blaine Bowman set the date for sentencing on November 18 in San Diego’s North County Superior Courthouse.