After Five Years, Aguirre, Accused Triggerman In The SB Rodriguez Revenge Murder, Acquitted

Isaac Paul Aguirre, who was charged with involvement in a conspiracy in the 2017 revenge murder of the wife of a prominent member of the Mexican Mafia in San Bernardino, was acquitted last month on all charges against him.
Prosecutors for five years pressed forward with investigators’ theory that five people with extensive criminal histories and gang affiliation, including Aguirre, were involved in killing Carmen Gutierrez Rodriguez, the wife of Andrew Rodriguez, as she was walking in the parking lot outside Gaby’s Cafe on North Mount Vernon Avenue on January 18, 2017.
According to investigators, Eric Moreno, Matthew Manzano, Robert Fernandez Jr., Richard Garcia and Aguirre worked in concert to send a message to Andrew Rodriguez, a fellow gang member who had been convicted of armed robbery and was contemplating cooperating with authorities as part of a deal to see his sentence reduced. Maria Del Carmen Gutierrez Rodriguez, a mother of five who lived in the North Hills neighborhood of the Sepulveda District in the San Fernando Valley, was lured to San Bernardino where she was gunned down, shot four times in the upper torso in the early evening of January 18, 2017.
It was the contention of prosecutors that Andrew Rodriguez, a member of the westside San Bernardino Verdugo gang who graduated into the Mexican Mafia while in he was serving a 115-years-to-life, three-strike armed-robbery sentence in Pelican Bay State Prison, possessed information that was highly prejudicial to the prison gang, which has ties of the Verdugos, and he was about to give it up. Prosecutors contend that while they were yet in prison, Moreno, Garcia and Manzano plotted and orchestrated Carmen Rodriguez’s killing.
Fernandez and Aguirre were accused of being the triggermen in Carmen Rodriguez’s death. In addition to murder, Aguirre was accused of being a felon in possession of a handgun the night of the shooting.
Subsequently, the Mexican Mafia took out a contract on Andrew Rodriguez, according to prosecutors, and he was slain just a little more than three months after his wife’s death, while incarcerated at Pelican Bay on April 20, 2017.
On July 11, 2018, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges against Moreno, Garcia, Manzano, Fernandez and Aguirre.
Four days later, on July 15, 2018, Moreno, then 30 and in custody as an inmate at Kern Valley State Prison in Delano, was killed by his cellmate, Daniel Olguin, 36, who was likewise a gang member from San Bernardino then serving a life sentence for torture-murder.
Fernandez pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and street gang terrorism in 2018. Richard Garcia pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2019 and was sentenced to 30 years. Manzano was convicted of murder in the case in 2020 and was sentenced to 25 years to life.
Aguirre resisted multiple plea bargain overtures from prosecutors, electing to roll the dice and go to trial, in the course of which it was demonstrated that Aguirre was not, as the prosecution contended, in good standing with either the Mexican Mafia or the Verdugo gang at the time of Carmen Rodriguez’s slaying, which gangland expert witnesses said would have made it highly unlikely that he would be entrusted with the assignment of assassinating the victim.
-Mark Gutglueck

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