4

Wilber Adalid Rodriguez: Homeless Man Murders Another Over National "Honor"

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

You'd hope that San Antonio residents Wilber Adalid Rodriguez and Jose Antonio Rodriguez would find a way to get along. As the old blues song goes, they were both poor boys a long ways from home: the 24-year-old Wilber hails from El Salvador, while Jose, 28, was from Honduras.

But alas, they could not get along at all, and we say "was" in reference to Jose because on the morning of November 1, 2009, the Honduran's body was found stuffed in a culvert under a downtown San Antonio bridge. He had been stabbed dozens of times, strangled and beaten, at the hands of Wilber, and (allegedly) Johel Steven Sanchez, Wilber's uncle who has since gone on the lam.

Wilber's girlfriend Crystal Vasquez told police that the men were drinking and smoking drugs together when an argument erupted.

You'll never believe what these guys were fighting over.

Vasquez told police that Wilber and Jose Rodriguez simply could not agree on which of their two countries had "better" street gangs: El Salvador and MS-13, or Honduras's lesser-known homegrown "maras." (Looks like El Salvador "won" this round.)

The court also heard that Jose Rodriguez was forced to apologize for denigrating Salvadoran gangs. He was made to beg for his life as Wilber Rodriguez and Sanchez worked him over for a full 20 minutes. The medical examiner found over 45 stab wounds spread over Wilber's torso, neck and chest.

Jose pleaded guilty to the murder last month, and prosecutors agreed to ask the judge for a sentence of 25 years or less, which is pretty lenient for Texas, especially for such a heinous murder. The defense had asked for a max of 15 years since the defendant would be deported at the end of his sentence anyway.

A San Antonio prosecutor explained that they were willing to strike the deal because, and we're paraphrasing here, everybody on the scene was really fucked up to begin with and had severe credibility problems even when they were stone-cold sober. "[W]hich makes their testimony maybe not as clear-cut as someone who lives a different lifestyle," the prosecutor told the San Antonio Express-News. "It was still a vicious and savage killing, and the person who committed something like that needs to go to prison for a long time."

And Wilber Rodriguez will do just that, if not for perhaps as long as we'd like to see

But hell, Wilber will probably see this as a golden opportunity. Once he's locked up in TDCJ, he will be able to round out his connoisseurial appreciation of Central American gangs with hands-on, up-close and personal studies of North American gangs such as the Mexican Mafia, the Aryan Brotherhood, and the Bloods and the Crips.

We see a book deal in his future, maybe a consultancy on the History Channel's Gangland. That is, if he makes it out of jail alive...

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.