Jury: Jason Rodriguez guilty of first-degree murder

Rodriguez found guilty in downtown Orlando shooting spree

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - It took jurors just three-and-a-half hours on Friday to convict an Orlando man of going on a shooting rampage at a downtown office building four years ago.


Jason Rodriguez was found guilty with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 26-year-old Otis Bekford and also guilty of attempted first-degree murder.

Prosecutors claim Rodriguez went into the office of his former employer seeking revenge for his firing two years before the shooting.

His defense team claims Rodriguez suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and he claims a voice in his head named "Sharptooth" egged him on to commit the crime.

Beckford's mother and grandmother told Local 6 they had no doubt Rodriguez knew what he was doing when he opened fire.

"That's premeditated murder," said Deleta Erle, Beckford's grandmother. "He knew what he was doing."

"He had all of this planned for 2 years," said Isilda Cole, Beckford's mother. "Justice was served. That's all I care about."

Earlier this week, Orange County Judge Belvin Perry ordered a new mental examination for Rodriguez after exhaustive testimony covering his diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia. Perry agreed to have a psychiatrist assess Rodriguez before testimony continued Thursday morning, but Rodriguez was found competent and testimony continued.

In closing arguments on Friday, the prosecution tied to prove that Rodriguez knew what he was doing at the time of the shooting, while his defense team said he was living in an alternate world.

Rodriguez will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars since the prosecution did not seek the death penalty.

Copyright 2013 by ClickOrlando.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.