Two men who are accused of killing a young woman to end her loud “drama” two years ago, will go on trial this week in San Diego’s North County Superior courthouse. Jury selection is scheduled to begin today, May 6.
The body of Morayma Denise Rodriguez, 20, was found by a bicyclist who stopped to eat his lunch in the 28300 block of Lawrence Welk Court, near Escondido, on February 1, 2012.
The victim reportedly caused a confrontation between a man she had accused of raping her and the defendants, and when it became apparent that her story was a lie, the men decided to put an end to her “crying, wailing and making a tremendous amount of noise,” according to prosecutor Jodi Breton.
“Each defendant is expected to claim that the other is the shooter,” according to Breton.
The two defendants, Destin Withers, 38, and Jeffrey McCreary, 43, might take turns in the witness box to tell the jury that he was the driver, and not the one who turned around in the front passenger seat of the borrowed Mercedes to shoot four 9mm bullets into the woman riding in back, according to attorneys.
The defendants had only known each other approximately 72 hours before the shooting, the prosecutor stated, but they were both once members of a prison gang called Nazi Low Riders, a subgroup of the Aryan Brotherhood.
“The jury is free to convict both defendants of first-degree murder without naming the actual shooter,” the prosecutor claims. Breton stated that both men are responsible for the woman’s murder and that “each equally aided and abetted the other in her death.”
Both defendants are from Escondido and have multiple prior convictions; McCreary for robberies and meth, and Withers for stolen vehicles and drugs, it is alleged.
Judge Blaine Bowman will preside over a trial expected to last three weeks.