Preliminary hearing in the death of young mother
VISTA (CNS) – A pair of ex-cons were overheard talking about cleaning up blood in the back of a car after a 20-year-old mother was gunned down in the North County, a witness testified Thursday.
The testimony came as a preliminary hearing got under way for Jeffrey Steven McCreary, 42, and Destin Lee Withers, 35.
The men are charged with murder in connection with the death of Morayma Denise Rodriguez, whose bullet-riddled body was found Feb. 1 near the Lawrence Welk Resort.
A woman, who prosecutors asked the media not to identify, testified that she heard McCreary and Withers talk about cleaning blood from a car, Deputy District Attorney Jodi Breton said. The woman saw McCreary come out of a house with a blanket and put it in a car shortly afterward, the prosecutor said.
Several witnesses testified that Rodriguez told friends that someone gave her drugs against her will and raped her several days before she was killed, and that Withers was trying to help her find that person.
The same woman who said she overheard the talk about blood in the car also said she heard the defendants talking about Rodriguez' accusations, and her impression was that the victim had been caught in a lie, according to Breton.
At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing — which resumes Monday — Judge Aaron Katz will decide whether there is enough evidence for the defendants to proceed to trial.
McCreary, the alleged gunman, faces 100 years to life in prison if convicted. The maximum for Withers would be 28 years to life.
Both are being held on $5 million bail.