After being convicted of second-degree murder for stabbing a classmate during school at Coral Gables High School, Andy Rodriguez, 19, has avoided life in prison, but was sentenced to 40 years in jail this morning. Following his release, at the age of 59 if he serves his full term, he will also serve 10 years of probation.
Rodriguez got in a hallway fight with classmate Juan Carlos Rivera back in September 2009. The struggle eventually escalated to the point where Rodriguez pulled out a box cutter and stabbed Rivera through the back. Rivera died from the injuries.
A clear motive was never properly established, though the defense argued that Rodriguez was angry that his girlfriend had started giving Rivera rides to school. Some witnesses, including the girlfriend, denied that characterization, however.
"I ask for forgiveness...I am not a murderer, I don't behave like a murderer," Rodriguez said in Spanish while addressing the judge.
Rivera's mother had written a letter to the judge asking that Rodriguez be punished with life in prison.
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