Apolonio Rodriguez, 33, of Celina, was sentenced by a jury to life in prison for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon Causing Serious Bodily Injury with Family Violence, announced Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis. "Rodriguez spent 15 years abusing multiple women. The verdict delivers vindication for the victims and perfect punishment for the predator," stated Willis after sentencing.
Rodriguez was in a dating relationship with the victim. The victim was seven months pregnant when Rodriguez assaulted her with a golf club, extension cord, knife, mug, and his hands and feet at their house in Celina. The victim sustained extensive bruising all over her body, a laceration to her head, and a shattered elbow.
Following the assault, Rodriguez forced the victim to flee with him to a family member's house. When the victim failed to show up for work, her friends and family requested a welfare check at her home, but law enforcement did not locate the victim for five more days.
With the coordinated efforts of the Celina Police Department, the Texas Rangers, Collin County Sheriff's Office, McKinney Police Department, and U.S. Marshal's Task Force, the victim and Rodriguez were finally located hiding in the attic of his family member's house. At the time Rodriguez committed this assault, he was wanted for Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon out of Montague County for shooting a prior girlfriend.
Celina Police Department Sergeant Jeremiah Phillips investigated the case. Texas Ranger Reuben Mankin assisted in the days-long search for the victim and Rodriguez.
Judge Carmen Rivera-Worley presided over the case.
The jury returned a guilty verdict for the first degree felony. During the punishment phase of trial, prosecutors offered evidence of additional domestic abuse that Rodriguez had inflicted on other women for over 15 years. Rodriguez was previously convicted of misdemeanor Assault Family Violence in 2007 out of Denton County, where he served 120 days in jail. An additional victim testified to years of abuse from 2008 until 2012, and a second victim testified to abuse from 2015 to 2017. Rodriguez had not been prosecuted for the abuse endured by these two women due to their fear for him. The jury assessed punishment at life in prison, and Rodriguez will have to serve 30 years before becoming eligible for parole.
Assistant District Attorneys Marisa Dunagan and Cresta Garland prosecuted the case, assisted by District Attorney Investigator Stephanie Strickland, Victim's Assistance Coordinator Rebecca Royer, and Assistant District Attorneys Claire Mosely and Lisa Braxton.