The murder of shopkeeper Vahid Hosseini and the ensuing charges against Williams Rodriguez were a turning point in the political career of former District Attorney Dolores Carr.
Carr’s husband, a retired lieutenant with the San Jose Police Department, was found to be serving as a consultant for the Hosseini family, and Carr’s office was forced to recuse itself from the case. The problem was that the DA, through her husband, was receiving money in a potential death penalty case from a victim’s family.
Now that Jeff Rosen is DA, the problem with Carr’s involvement in the case through her husband has vanished. But the State Attorney General’s office announced yesterday that it has decided to drop the case against Rodriguez.
Though Rodriguez has spent the last two years in jail, they say that cell phone records show that he was not in the city on the day of the murder, there was no DNA sample from him in the getaway vehicle, and the person who identified him as the suspect was motivated more by the $90,000 reward money and a personal animosity toward Rodriguez than any desire to see justice served.
The family of the victim still believes that he orchestrated the killing. The case could be refiled, but that would likely require more evidence. Rosen says that he will review the case if asked, but that does not mean that it will be refiled.
As for Rodriguez, he will not be getting out of jail any time soon. During the case, his phones were wiretapped, providing evidence of armed robbery, fraud, and criminal threats. Even without the murder charges, he still faces at least seven years in jail.
Read more at the Mercury News.