Woman who drove 3 slain in Oklahoma home invasion speaks out

AP News
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Posted: Mar 31, 2017 8:12 PM
Woman who drove 3 slain in Oklahoma home invasion speaks out

The woman who says she drove three teenagers to an Oklahoma home where they were fatally shot during a midday break-in told television reporters that she feels guilty, but not responsible for their deaths and that she has little compassion for the man who shot them.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, is jailed without bond on murder and burglary warrants in Wagoner County for the deaths of Maxwell Cook, Jacob Redfern and Jakob Woodruff at the home just outside the city limits of the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow. The Wagoner County sheriff's office says the three were between 15 and 19 years old.

Authorities have said the three were shot Monday by the homeowner's 23-year-old son, who has not been arrested, and that each was found masked, dressed in black and wearing gloves. A knife and brass knuckles were recovered at the scene.

"I understand he (the son) protected his home," Rodriguez told television station KOTV. "He had his rights."

But she said he could have shot the three in the legs. "He's at the bottom of my list to be compassionate for," she said.

Teary-eyed and often sniffling during the interviews, Rodriguez said she drove the teens to the home with the intent to burglarize it, while acknowledging the group had stolen items earlier the same day from a detached garage on the same property.

"I won't take responsibility for the murders, I won't. I feel guilty, but I don't feel responsible," Rodriguez said to ABC's "World News Tonight with David Muir."

Rodriguez also said another person was with her in the vehicle as she waited outside the home, but would not identify the person.

First Assistant District Attorney Jack Thorp told The Associated Press on Friday that he had not seen the interviews, but was aware of them.

"We will be scrutinizing her comments," Thorp said.

He said it was interesting that Rodriguez would mention that someone else was with her, but that his office was aware of that detail.

Wagoner County Deputy Nick Mahoney told the AP that investigators have found the person believed to have been with Rodriguez and are interviewing the individual, but have made no arrests.

The sheriff's office sent a preliminary report to the prosecutor's office Friday, and a final investigative report is expected to reach prosecutors next week. Thorp said decisions about what, if any, charges Rodriguez will face and whether the homeowner's son will be charged could be made as early as Monday.

Rodriguez could be charged under a state law that allows for murder charges against a person who takes part in a crime in which another person is killed.

The homeowner's son could be cleared under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law, which allows citizens to shoot someone if they believe their safety is threatened. Oklahoma is among 24 states with such a provision, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

"I intend to review the entire report and apply it to the law" that allows people to protect themselves and their property, Thorp said.

"Folks have a right to feel safe and secure in their own house," he said.