The man who shot and killed his girlfriend at an east Erie Pizza Hut. will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Now, an Erie County District Attorney says she hopes his convictions deters the number of domestic violence-related deaths.
JET 24 Action News’ Tiarra Braddock was in the courtroom today for the sentencing of Luis Rodriguez. Before he was sentenced to life in prison, Rodriguez asked for forgiveness from the family of Alicia Stalheim. Stalheim’s mother tried to address the court but was too shaken to speak.
Tears filled an Erie County courtroom today as Luis Rodriguez was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday. A jury found Rodriguez guilty on charges of first degree murder for shooting and killing 25-year old Alicia Stalheim last November at the Pizza Hut where she worked. In addition to the life sentence, Rodriguez received 23 to 46 years for shooting Stalheim’s then pregnant co-worker, Ashleigh Fuhrman, in the arm.
“It’s just huge to be able to give anybody a sense of justice, especially after what the family’s been through.” said Erin Connelly, Erie County Assistant District Attorney. “Here, we just have multiple individuals that were affecte by the crime.”
Connelly says that the shooting not only took a toll on the Stalheim family, but the entire community since it was done in a public place.
“Thankfully, nobody else was in the Pizza Hut at the time because we truly believe he would’ve shot whoever was in his way.”
Connelly says the Erie County District Attorney’s Office is putting together a task force to address the issue of domestic violence.
“The amount of domestic violence we had with our homicides in 2018, we knew we had to do something,” Connelly said. Before handing down Rodriguez’s sentence, Judge Joe Walsh said that the Stalheim family has lost an angel and sadly, none of this can be undone.
JET 24 Action News did reach out to Rodriguez’s lawyer for a comment but she declined to speak.