Little Green Man

'Little green man' murder case ends in acquittal

By Ihosvani Rodriguez
San Antonio Express-News

Web Posted: 12/18/2003 12:00 AM

A little green man may have been a figment of Raymond Rodriguez's drug-fueled imagination, but it was possibly real enough for a jury to clear him Wednesday of capital murder.
Jurors rejected prosecutors' claims that Rodriquez stabbed his mother's longtime drinking partner and lover, Danny San Miguel, 77, nearly three years ago to steal his truck.

For nearly three weeks, defense attorneys Anthony Cantrell and Tina Tussay-Cooper zealously attacked that notion from different fronts, including saying their client was rendered temporarily insane by a page-size sheet of LSD he was forced to gobble up on the night San Miguel was killed.

The jurors deliberated for five hours and left the courthouse declining to speak to attorneys or reporters, leaving everyone to speculate on their decision.

"I think the jury saw that he was railroaded by everyone from the very beginning, " Tussay-Cooper said.

Rodriguez, who has been in jail for almost two years awaiting trail, was facing a possible life sentence if convicted of capital murder.

During the trial, Rodriguez claimed a junkie forced him to swallow LSD when they were pulled over by police on Feb. 5, 2001.  When Rodriquez got home, he said he was hallucinating.

Among his visions was a tiny green man who jumped at him from behind a pint of ice cream.  The figure taunted Rodriguez to kill him.  Rodriquez then claims he blacked out.

The next morning, he woke up lying on San Miguel, who a knife impaled in his chest.

Attorneys suggested someone else in the house killed San Miguel, then manipulated Rodriguez into believing he did it.  Rodriquez's attorneys portrayed their client throughout the trial as having mental retardation.

Prosecutors ridiculed the insanity defense.  They repeatedly highlighted how Rodriguez remembered details about disposing of San Miguel's body the next morning.

Assistant District Attorney David Lunan said he was disappointed by the verdict and feared that the jury's decision could lead others to abuse the temporary insanity defense.

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