Trial underway for man accused in 2020 Springfield kidnapping
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - The trial is underway for the man accused of kidnapping and raping an 11-year-old girl in Springfield in January 2020.
Sealed envelopes containing new evidence against Miguel Angel Rodriguez were opened by a court officer on Thursday at Hampden Superior Court in Springfield. Rodriguez is now on trial, charged with kidnapping a girl as she walked home from her bus stop in Springfield on January 15, 2020.
Western Mass News tracked every development as an AMBER Alert was issued that day, with the victim, who was 11 years old at the time, was found several hours later in the backseat of a blue Honda Civic driven by Rodriguez on the Mass. Pike. Later, investigators added a rape charge against Rodriguez in this case.
On Thursday, testimony focused on DNA and other evidence.
“How was that item collected?” asked prosecutor Amy Wilson.
“I collected it. I initially attempted to release the head rest, so that I didn’t have to cut the knot itself, but I was unable to get that headrest off the vehicle, so I did cut through the middle portion of the knot,” said Springfield Police Sgt. James McCoy.
McCoy, one of the witnesses, identified new evidence introduced by the prosecution including items collected in the car where the victim was found.
“Do you recognize what’s inside the envelope?” Wilson said.
“Yes, I do,” McCoy responded.
“What’s that?” Wilson asked.
“This is the duct tape that was recovered from the rear seat pocket of the front passenger seat, the back pocket,” McCoy noted.
In addition to the duct tape, which had torn pieces, the prosecution introduced a license plate attached to the blue Honda Civic, two other license plates found inside the car, a piece of rope tied inside the car, and additional rope in the trunk, which were all identified by McCoy, and were all entered into evidence without question by Rodriguez’s defense attorney.
“I ask this to be considered as well,” Wilson said.
“No objection,” said defense attorney Lawrence Madden.
The judge in the case will decide if Rodriguez will remain in a mental hospital or be sentenced to prison because Rodriguez himself opted for a trial with no jury.
The court proceedings will resume Friday morning.
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