A man from Florida has been sentenced to life in prison for severely beating his girlfriend, who was six months pregnant, to the point where she had sh*e tread marks on her skull.
A 49-year-old Jay Leonard Rodriguez was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder on Wednesday in Hillsborough County for beating his 25-year-old girlfriend, Jennifer Barreras, to death. Her unborn child also died as a result of the attack.
On Thursday, a judge sentenced Rodriguez to two life sentences. According to court documents, the girlfriend and her baby girl died minutes after a premature birth. In court, Jessica Gonzalez, a friend of Barreras, told jurors that Rodriguez had pinned Barreras against a bedroom wall and repeatedly punched her, according to WTVT.
She testified that Rodriguez had picked up Barreras and slammed her to the ground four or five times. Gonzalez testified that Rodriguez repeatedly stomped on Barreras‘ stomach “over and over again.”
Police arrived on the scene after receiving a 911 call at 3:25 a.m. While on the scene, they found a female victim unresponsive with severe bruising and swelling around her head. The officer began life-saving measures and stated in their report that the victim was noticeably pregnant.
Even after the victim cowered on her knees, the witness said Rodriguez continued to beat her.
The witness testified that she had told Rodriguez to stop, but he threatened her with physical violence if she got involved. Gonzalez also testified that she saw Rodriguez stomping on Barrera’s face.
The victim fell unconscious, lying motionless and no longer screaming for help. Even so, the defendant continued to kicking and punch her. Hours before Rodriguez testified, he requested a plea deal that prosecutors rejected.
During his testimony, he portrayed Barreras as the aggressor in the incident, suggesting that if he had indeed a*saulted her, it was only to prevent her from hitting him. He denied a*saulting or killing her.
“When I left that night she was alive, and she was cussing at me like she always do when you have little respect,” he said.