The murder trial for the fatal stabbing that claimed the life of 17-year-old Juan Carlos Rivera in the halls of Coral Gables Senior High School back in 2009 is underway. Prosecutors are eager to portray the defendant, Andy Rodriguez, as a jealous boyfriend who stabbed Rivera after his girlfriend, Daimilsis Salgado, started giving Rivera rides to school. However, Salgado took the stand today and her testimony conflicted with the version of events presented in the prosecution's opening statements.
The trial opened yesterday, and the prosecution painted Rodriguez as a jealous boyfriend with a fiery temper. They claimed that he once broke up with Salgado after she refused to give him her MySpace password, and was jealous that she had been giving Rivera rides to school.
Salgado testified today through a Spanish translator and, according to The Miami Herald, said that while Rodriguez once asked for the password there was no argument after she refused. She also claimed that he never asked her to stop giving rides to Rodriguez.
The defense team claimed that Rodriguez was merely acting in self-defense after the fight started between periods during the school day. They also somewhat shockingly claimed that it was not illegal for Rodriguez to be carrying a boxcutter, which he used to stab Rivera, at school. However, Miami-Dade schools have a zero-tolerance policy for weapons on campus. They argued that he had it on him to use at his job at a flea market. Salgado said she was with him when they bought the knife.
The defense team also claimed that the rides were not the result of a personal friendship between Salgado and Rivera and rather a favor between families. But a member of Rivera's family testified that the families did not know each other.
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In another note, testimony was briefly halted today as Rodriguez's mother fainted in the courtroom and had to be transported to a local hospital.
Regardless of the courtroom wrangling over details, the incident was captured on the school's surveillance cameras and jurors will get to view the footage. The tapes don't lie and if convicted of the second-degree murder charge Rodriguez could face life in prison.