Beloit man pleads guilty to role in murder from drug deal gone bad
JANESVILLE—A 19-year-old Beloit man pleaded guilty Monday to party to felony murder after an attempted robbery that led to a shooting death and injury to another man.
Joldany Rodriguez faces up to 40 years in prison when he is sentenced in October in Rock County Court.
Rodriguez, Savion N. Latimer, 16, also of Beloit, and two other then-16-year-olds drove Dec. 23 to a parking lot at 1611 Hackett St. in Beloit to rob a man of his marijuana, according to a criminal complaint.
Rodriguez told police Latimer and the man they were trying to rob pulled guns on each other.
Rodriguez said he left the car after the man shot Latimer and before he heard another shot fired, according to the complaint.
Rodriguez said he and the people he came with saw Latimer collapse on the ground and called police, according to the complaint. Latimer was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, Janesville, from gunshot wounds to the head, torso and upper right arm.
The other man in the incident was treated at Beloit Memorial Hospital for a bullet wound through his chin that shattered his jaw, according to the complaint. The man also had a gunshot wound in his right leg.
The man wrote a note to police, saying, “I shot him (Latimer) with his own gun!” according to the complaint.
The incident later spilled over into Janesville. Court documents show that police believed a Dec. 29 drive-by shooting of a house at 305 Rockport Road could be traced to the Beloit dispute.
Rodriguez will be sentenced at 2 p.m. Oct. 3. As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution will not recommend a specific prison sentence.
However, prosecutors will be able to argue the “aggravated nature of the offense,” defense attorney Scott McCarthy said while describing the agreement.
Rodriguez will be able to argue for whatever sentence the defense finds appropriate, McCarthy said.