A Cambria Height man admitted to shooting and killing the mother of his newborn child during an argument in the fall of 2017, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Robert Rodgriguez, 36, of 255th Street, pleaded guilty Monday, Jan. 1o, to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder.
Katz said at around 2 a.m. on Sept. 17, 2017, the victim Luz Cuza and Rodriguez were in the front yard of her home on 147th Street near 133rd Avenue in South Jamaica. The victim’s brother saw the pair in the yard, noticed Rodriguez had a firearm and talked to the defendant about the weapon then went inside the house.
Minutes later, there was a gunshot and the victim’s brother ran back outside to find Cuza on the ground with a fatal gunshot wound to her eye, according to the charges. Rodriguez was seen walking away from the scene carrying a shoebox.
Katz said the victim’s brother banged on a neighbor’s door and yelled for someone to call 911. Police responded to the scene and then went to Rodriguez’s address, where they found a loaded semi-automatic pistol and 48 rounds of ammunition in a shoebox. Forensic analysis proved the firearm was the same used to kill Cuza.
“In pleading guilty, the defendant has admitted to killing the mother of his infant son, a young woman who also had two other children, during an argument in front of her home,” Katz said. “This tragedy is a grim reminder that violence is never the solution to a dispute.”
Rodriguez is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 1. Justice Holder indicated he will order Rodriguez to prison for 19 years, to be followed by five years’ post-release supervision.