A jury has found a man guilty of murdering a young mother on a Hagerstown street corner
Jurors decided it was not premeditated but the death of Trisiviah Rodriguez is still first degree murder.
Demetrius McDaniels was found guilty of felony first-degree murder for gunning down Trisiviah Rodriguez at the intersection of Franklin and Locust Streets last July. Prosecutors said it happened during an attempted armed robbery.
McDaniels and another man, Raheen Edwin, were both arrested in connection with the crime. Edwin has already pleaded guilty to attempted first degree murder. The State's Attorney's Office says they accepted the guilty plea because evidence points to McDaniels as the person who actually fired the fatal bullet.
"It's a big relief. I was really nervous. I couldn't sleep at all last night,” said Rodriquez’s stepmother Talita Rodriguez.
Even though nothing will bring her daughter back, she's glad to know someone is paying a price for the murder.
"The man that did this, he got what he deserved,” says Rodriguez.
The State's Attorney says all evidence shows Rodriguez was an innocent bystander. In fact, surveillance video shows someone attempting to rob another man, Russell Walker, at the same location and around the same time. One theory is that Walker was the intended target.
Nevertheless, the jury came back with a long list of guilty verdicts, meaning McDaniels could get life in prison.
"It shows that neither the Hagerstown Police Department nor the State's Attorney's Office can or will tolerate street violence. It's unacceptable,” says State’s Attorney of Washington County Charles Strong. “We will prosecute fully as we have done in this case."
Meanwhile, the victim's baby girl, Taliss, will likely grow up with a lot of questions.
"She's starting to walk now, and she's gotten several teeth. It's a shame that she's not able to know her mom,” says Rodriguez.
A sentencing date has not been set.
'When I came back out, she was dead'