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A paroled sex offender cut off his ankle monitor before going on a killing spree, Houston police allege

A paroled sex offender cut off his ankle monitor before going on a killing spree, Houston police allege July 18 at 4:15 AM Email the author ...

A paroled sex offender cut off his ankle monitor before going on a killing spree, Houston police allege

July 18 at 4:15 AM Email the author
Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez holds a news conference after the arrest of the suspected serial killer. (KHOU 11)

There was a wedding to plan. Allie Barrow, a dark-haired 28-year-old Texan with a tiny ring looping through her nostril, was the bride-to-be. Like her future husband, she punched the clock at a Mattress Firm, a gig she’d settled into after skipping around some â€" history degree from Sam Houston State University; hair stylist license from the Aveda Institute. Barrow had worked for the company about a year when she arrived at the store around 11 a.m. last Saturday, a hot morning boiling up into the 90s.

As he r friend Miranda Eason would later tell the Houston Chronicle, Barrow was planning to go wedding dress shopping the next week.

Everything seemed quiet that day at Mattress Firm, a store slotted into a corner spot in a shopping center in northwest Houston. The showroom’s big windows looked out onto a ribbon of parking lot sitting next to the six asphalted lanes of a major roadway. Usually, Barrow’s own car was parked in one of the spaces. But as an employee at the Baskin Robbins pulled in around 12:30, p.m. that day, she did a doubletake.

“Her car was not there,” the employee told ABC 13. “I remember I looked to see who was in there.”

Around 7 p.m., a Mattress Firm manager found Barrow in the back of the store. The young woman had been shot in the head, her dead body stuffed between two mattresses.

Jose Gilb erto Rodriguez (Houston Police Department)

According to authorities, the murder was not an isolated flash of violence but connected to a series of crimes that tore through Houston and surrounding Harris County in a matter of days.

On Tuesday, law enforcement officials announced Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, a 46-year-old registered sex offender with gang ties, had been arrested for his alleged involvement in three murders, a home invasion, and an attempted murder. All the alleged crimes took place between July 9 and his arrest Tuesday after a car chase with police.

At a news conference on Monday, Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters Rodriguez was possibly a serial killer. “That’s what we’re facing right now, a possible serial killer,” Gonzalez reiterated.

“We are convinced that he has absolutely no regard for the sanctity of life,” Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo added.

But Rodriguez’s alleged crimes happened when he was supposed to still be under the watchful eye of law enforcement.

Since his release from prison in September 2017, the suspect has been on parole. According to Acevedo, on July 5, Rodriguez cut off his ankle monitor. The spree prompted the police chief to promise a crackdown on parole violators.

“We are going to be flies on stink to parolees,” Acevedo told the Chronicle on Tuesday. “They’re not going to like us.”

According to Click2Houston, Rodriguez’s criminal career in Texas stretches back to joyriding and auto theft charges in 1989. The next year, he was convicted of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl. A 20-year sentence for that charge was combined with a 25-year sentence for a felony burglary charge from a previous arrest. While in prison, he received an additional 10-year sentence after a conviction for possession of a deadly weapon inside a penitentiary, the Chronicle reported.

Following his release in September 2017, Rodriguez â€" 135 pounds coiled over a 5-foot 7-inch frame, tattoos spotting his face, neck, and encircling the top of his shaved head like a crown â€" eventually landed at a transitional living complex in the Houston area. His release wasn’t the parole board’s decision, the Chronicle reported, but mandated under the law due to the amount of time he had already served.

His landlord, Theresa Williams told the Chronicle he was nice and neat, a “workaholic” who had a job at Tyson Foods. Williams said Rodriguez got along with the other tenants and would often help out around the complex, mowing the lawn, painting the house, and fixing phones.

Williams recounted last seeing Rodriguez leaving the facility to go do laundry last week. She told him to stay out of trouble.

“Don’t worry, Mama T,” he said, according to the Chronicle. “I’m never gonna leave you.”

Police allege Rodriguez had already jump-started the violent chain of events that would claim three lives.< /p>

On July 9, Rodriquez allegedly forced his way into an elderly couple’s home at gunpoint. According to the Chronicle, he tied up the 87-year-old homeowner and robbed the house.

Four days later, police received a call from Pamela Johnson’s worried family. A widowed shelf stocker at a Kroger store who enjoyed Hallmark movies and was active in the Mormon Church, the 62-year-old had been scheduled to ride with her brother to a family reunion, the Chronicle reported. But when her ride arrived, no one answered the door â€" even though the house’s lights were still on. Her PT Cruiser, however, was gone.

Authorities entered Johnson’s house, finding her tied up and dead.

The victim’s car was located the next day at Willowbrook Mall. On the same day, the manager at Mattress Firm discovered Allie Barrow’s body. The store was located across the nearby six-lane roadway from the same mall where Johnson’s car was abandoned.

In the early hours of Mond ay, a city bus driver was shot and robbed at a gas station, Click2Houston reported. The victim, who has not been publicly identified, survived the shooting. But later that afternoon, Edward Magana, 57, an employee at a Mattress One store in north Houston, was shot and killed.

Rodriguez is behind each incident, police allege.

At the news conference Monday to alert the community to Rodriguez’s rampage, Houston Chief Acevedo said the suspect had reportedly been casing houses in other neighborhoods, including knocking on doors.

“This guy’s motive appears to be robbery,” he said. Acevedo added the suspect was “armed and extremely dangerous.”

Monday’s news conference was the starter pistol for a massive police and public hunt for Rodriguez.

Going into the search, Harris County Deputy Jorge Reyes was confident. As he would later recount at Tuesday news conference, he told his wife on his way to work: “I’m gonna catch him.”

Sure enough, around 6 a.m., Reyes and his partner got the call while on patrol. A vehicle matching the description of Rodriguez’s last known car was spotted. When the deputies caught up with the car, the suspect led law enforcement on a daybreak chase for 15 minutes before he was finally taken into custody.

As of Tuesday evening, Harris County court records indicate Rodriguez has been charged with two counts of capital murder. Police indicate more charges are coming. Rodriguez’s court-appointed public defender did not immediately return a call for comment.

Source: Google News | Netizen 2 4 United States

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