On Friday, July 16, 2021, the Honorable Judge Kristin Bays, sitting for the 435th District Court, sentenced Defendant Edward Rodriguez, age 31, to 40 years in prison for the offense of Evading Arrest in a Motor Vehicle. Previously, a jury found Rodriquez guilty of the charged offense. At 5:00 a.m. on November 24, 2018, Officer Michael St. Romain of the Splendora Police Department attempted to pull Rodriguez over for a traffic violation. Instead of stopping, Rodriguez fled. During the chase, Rodriguez used his 2016 Dodge Charger to weave in and around the early morning traffic on US 59, narrowly avoiding crashing into multiple cars. Numerous officers joined in the pursuit, which covered over 20 miles in only 11 minutes and reached speeds of 150 miles per hour. Rodriguez eventually exited US 59 at Aldine Bender Road in Houston. When officers boxed in Rodriguez’s car at a dead end, he made one last effort to escape by ramming into the patrol vehicle of Deputy Michael Aldrich of the Montgomery County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office. Fortunately, neither Deputy Aldrich nor anyone else was injured in the pursuit.
After arresting Rodriguez, officers determined that the vehicle Rodriguez used in the pursuit was stolen In the sentencing phase of the trial, prosecutors presented evidence of Rodriguez’s lengthy criminal history. Rodriguez’s offenses included a prison sentence in 2008 for Burglary of a Habitation, a separate prison sentence in 2012 for another Burglary of a Habitation, a conviction for Theft in 2013, a conviction for Criminal Trespass in 2014, and a conviction for Unlawfully Carrying a Weapon in 2016. Prosecutors also presented evidence to Judge Bays that Rodriguez is an admitted member of the Tango Blast criminal street gang and has multiple gang tattoos covering his body. Because of Rodriguez’s two prior trips to prison, he faced an enhanced punishment range of 25 years to life in prison. During the trial, the jury also found that Rodriguez used the stolen vehicle as a deadly weapon, meaning Rodriguez will have to serve at least half of the 40-year sentence before becoming eligible for parole.
Prosecutor Philip Harris: “This Defendant treated the roads of Montgomery County like his own personal racetrack, putting many lives at risk. His actions could have easily maimed or killed innocent bystanders and the brave men and women of law enforcement who keep us safe. With this sentence, our community will be safe from this Defendant for a long time. We want to thank Officer St. Romain, Deputy Michael Aldrich, and the other law enforcement personnel who worked on this case.”
District Attorney Brett Ligon: “Mr. Rodriquez is a habitual offender who makes a habit of trying to avoid accountability. Now accountability has caught up with him, and he will have at least two decades to think about his life’s choices.”