The baby was delivered in a hospital where the mother who was 6-months pregnant, was being treated. The baby died moments later.
Trigger Warning: The story has graphic details of domestic violence that readers will find disturbing
A pregnant woman in Tampa Bay, Florida was beaten to death by her boyfriend. The beating was so severe that it led to the death of the child after her birth. A woman, who tried to intervene at the pleas from the victim, was also threatened with dire consequences by the man. She later told investigators that she saw the man punching his girlfriend and throwing her on the floor, before kicking her and stomping on her stomach. Jay Leonard Rodriguez, 49, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder after he was arrested. Prosecutors filed a motion to keep him in jail without the possibility of bail. The accused has a long history of problems with the law and spent the better part of the last two decades in prison for various offenses from armed robbery to the assault of another woman, reports Tampa Bay Times.
Tampa police arrested Jay Leonard Rodriguez after he allegedly killed a pregnant woman and her baby early Saturday morning. https://t.co/JN2wcUpZzM— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) October 19, 2020
The lone witness to the incident, Jessica Gonzales, as per the court records, first heard the victim's screams one afternoon last month at around 3:25 p.m. She found the woman and her boyfriend in their bedroom and she saw Rodriguez punching the woman in the face with his fist as she entered their room. The victim “was cowering down to her knees” and screamed, “Help me” as per the motion. The victim was six months pregnant. “Ms. Gonzalez told the defendant to stop hitting her, but the defendant then balled up his fist and turned toward the witness. The defendant threatened Ms. Gonzalez with physical violence if she tried to get involved,” the motion stated. Rodriguez then threw the victim to the tile floor, kicked her multiple times in the face and stomach. He also stomped her in the face and stomach, the motion added.
FL - Tampa mom-to-be was 6 months pregnant when attacked - she died, the baby was delivered but died shortly after; Jay Leonard Rodriguez faces two counts of second-degree murder and a charge of violating his probation. https://t.co/K3jDHmOzLd— True Blue Warriors (@TruBluWarriors) October 18, 2020
Despite the woman having lost consciousness, Rodriguez continued to kick and punch her. Gonzalez finally called the cops while Rodriguez left the house. She performed CPR on the victim with instructions from the dispatcher after she saw she had trouble breathing. The victim was found by the police “severely bruised and swollen around her head” the motion stated. She was rushed to a hospital where they delivered a baby girl at 4:15 a.m. Around 10 minutes later, the woman died. The newborn died not long after that. An examination of the victim by the Hillsborough Medical Examiner’s Office concluded she suffered a number of blunt impacts to her torse and head. She also had a “shoe tread impression” on her body which was evidence of the stomping.
While Rodriguez admitted to getting into a physical altercation with the victim he said he had only grabbed her by the hair and face after she slapped him. According to jail records, the accused worked as a warehouseman for a food company and had widescale problems with the law prior. He was on probation for attempted armed robbery at the time of his arrest. His first stint in jail in the last two decades began from 2003 to 2013 for various offenses from armed robbery, aggravated assault, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, shooting into a building or vehicle, and fleeing from law enforcement. In 2013, he assaulted a woman who said Rodriguez had punched her body and head, pushed her into a table, and broke her furniture after he broke the front door of her house and threatened her life.
“Jay has stated to me no man is going to have me; that he was going to kill me,” according to the woman. Around 11 months after his release in 2013, Rodriguez was arrested for trying to rob a restaurant and pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery. He was sentenced to five years in state prison followed by 10 years of probation. He was released in 2019. Just three months later, he was arrested for charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and fleeing from law enforcement. He had got into a vehicle and accelerated toward pedestrians standing on a city easement and fled when a Tampa police officer tried to speak to him during the investigation. According to government figures, on average, "nearly 20 people per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States."
It added, "1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men experience severe intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner contact sexual violence, and/or intimate partner stalking with impacts such as injury..."
If you are being subjected to domestic abuse or know of anyone else who is, please visit The National Domestic Violence Hotline website or call 1-800-799-7233 or text LOVEIS to 22522.