Day one of the trial for the man accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend at an Erie Pizza Hut, with opening statements and witness testimony in the courtroom today.
JET 24 Action News’ Tiarra Braddock was in the courtroom today as the trial began. During opening statements, the prosecution asked the jury to convict 48-year old Luis Rodriguez of first degree murder and attempted murder.
It was an emotional day for the family of Alicia Stalheim as they listened to the graphic details of her murder during the Luis Rodriguez trial.
Rodriguez allegedly shot and killed Stalheim who was said to be his girlfriend last November. The shooting happening at an east Erie Pizza Hut where she worked. The prosecution says that Rodriguez also shot Stalheim’s co-worker in the shoulder. She was pregnant at the time of the shooting.
The first witness to take the stand was that co-worker who testified that Rodriguez shot her and she heard him shoot Stalheim. The prosecution also showing video of Rodriguez following Stalheim into the Pizza Hut minutes before the shooting.
Other witnesses who testified include a Pennsylvania State Police firearm examiner, a forensic pathologist and detectives with Erie City Police. The State Police firearm expert says the gun that was found in Rodriguez’s car matched the bullet cartridges found at the scene.
There was also a letter found in Rodriguez’s car that police believe he gave to Stalheim before the shooting which read “I love you ad I’m never going to let you go.”
Rodriguez’s defense attorney passed on making opening statements, but Rodriguez is expected to take the witness stand on Wednesday. The prosecution is expected to have one more witness. Then, they will most likely rest their case in this trial.