On Thursday, Houston’s First Court of Appeals said the jury’s instructions on the law on self-defense were so confusing that Rodriguez did not get a fair trial.
Some of you may remember Raul Rodriguez, a former Houston Firefighter. In 2012, he was convicted of killing his neighbor after recording a large portion of the confrontation with his own camera. That recording was part of the reason for his conviction as Rodriguez can be heard parroting the phrase, “I am in fear for my life,” over and over again while arguing with Kelly Danaher and Danaher’s father before Rodriguez ultimately shot the younger Danaher, a local school teacher. At the time of the incident, it was our collective opinion on the show that Rodriguez’s own video undermined his claim of self-defense. That opinion still stands.
It is highly likely that the Harris County District Attorney will appeal this ruling. In the meantime, Rodriguez may actually be able to request a bond for his release be set. By overturning this conviction, the appellate court is saying there was a mistake of law that is so egregious that it contributed to Rodriguez’s conviction. Specifically, they are saying the jury instructions were wrong or confusing. Time will tell but, it could be this case will have to go back to trial all over again.