A prison inmate convicted of killing a driver at a Lancaster city intersection 16 years ago will get no relief from his sentence or the restitution he was ordered to pay.
Osvaldo Rodriguez was convicted in 2007 of third-degree murder for the shooting death of 21-year-old Jaimen Cooper on Jan. 27, 2000, at South Ann and Chesapeake streets. Rodriguez was sentenced to 17 to 35 years in prison.
Rodriguez, now 36, was charged on a grand jury’s recommendation six years after Cooper was shot in the head while driving his vehicle near George Washington Elementary School.
Rodriguez recently challenged the sentence and the $15,980 he was ordered to pay in full, or share with his co-defendants, for Cooper’s funeral and other costs.
The Pennsylvania Superior Court denied the challenge, finding that Rodriguez’s motion is too late.
Rodriguez, in his filing, mentions a 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision that deemed mandatory sentences unconstitutional.
The state court rejected Rodriguez’s argument because his sentence did not involve a mandatory term.
Angel Irizarry and Guillermo Polanco also were charged in the killing. Irizarry was sentenced to 20 to 40 years and is serving what is essentially a life sentence for unrelated crimes.
Polanco was sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison.
First Assistant District Attorney Christopher P. Larsen prosecuted the cases.
Cooper apparently had been in an ongoing feud with the three men charged with his murder.
Grand jury witnesses testified about the three men discussing a plan to drive around and confront Cooper, and about how the men returned home after the shooting and discussed what happened.
Lancaster city police Detective Sonja Stebbins filed charges.
MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @BrettHambright