Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin announced today that Daniel Rodriguez, age 28, of Johnston, , pleaded guilty before Superior Court Justice Robert D. Krause and was sentenced to consecutive life sentences plus an additional 50 years for the August 2013 murder of Evelyn Burgos and Vanessa Perez and the kidnapping of two-year-old Isaiah Perez.
"Daniel Rodriguez is a brutal, violent killer. His violence caused the deaths of Evelyn Burgos and her daughter Vanessa Perez. No one can imagine the horrors the three children, who were in the room at the time of the murders, experienced as they saw Evelyn and Vanessa brutally shot and killed, and the bravery it took for AJ, Evelyn's eight-year-old son, to call E-911 and provide critical information to the police that led to the capture of Rodriguez and the safe return of his two-year-old brother Isaiah," said Attorney General Kilmartin. "The swift apprehension of Rodriguez was the result of the coordinated response by the Johnston Police Department, the Rhode Island State Police, Providence Police and many other police departments who worked together to identify and apprehend the shooter and safely locate the little boy."
Had the case proceeded to trial, the State was prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that on August 11, 2013, at approximately 4:00 a.m. Daniel Rodriguez, alias "Radio," traveled to 3 Oak Tree Drive in Johnston, the residence of his ex-girlfriend, Evelyn Burgos, and her family. In his possession was a .357 Magnum. Armed with the revolver, Rodriguez entered the home through a rear window leading to a bathroom. Once in the house, he confronted Evelyn Burgos and her daughter, Vanessa Perez, in a child's bedroom. An argument ensued between Rodriguez and Burgos and Perez. Present in the room were Burgos' two youngest children, eight-year-old Abel "AJ" Perez and two-year-old Isaiah Perez, and three-year-old Janiyah Crowell, the daughter of Vanessa Perez.
During the course of the argument, Rodriguez used the .357 Magnum revolver he was carrying and shot Vanessa Perez in her upper left arm, in the left side of her face, which entered her brain, and in her upper chest, which entered her chest cavity and severed her aorta. Vanessa Perez died due to the lethal gunshot wounds. Rodriguez then turned the weapon on Evelyn Burgos and shot her a single time in the face, causing her death. She also sustained a grazing gunshot wound to her left cheek and to portions of her right arm. Vanessa Perez was dead by the time police arrived, but Evelyn Burgos succumbed to her injuries while being transported to the hospital.
Rodriguez then kidnapped the two year-old-child of Evelyn Burgos, Isaiah Perez, and fled the house with his firearm.
Johnston Police were called to the scene about an hour later when AJ dialed E-911. An immediate coordinated effort to find the shooter and Isaiah Perez was begun that included Johnston Police, Providence Police, Rhode Island State Police, East Providence Police, Fall River Police, Massachusetts State Police and several other law enforcement agencies.
At approximately 4:30 p.m., Daniel Rodriguez was arrested at the Elmhurst Extended Care facility in Providence when his uncle, Providence Police Officer Miguel Mena-Torres, confronted him about what had happened in Johnston earlier in the day. Rodriguez was in possession the Ford Taurus that belonged to Evelyn Burgos as well as the .357 Magnum revolver that was later confirmed to have been used in the murder of Evelyn Burgos and Vanessa Perez. The firearm had five spent shell casings and one live round, which were consistent with the five shots fired at 3 Oak Tree Drive in Johnston earlier that morning. The four projectiles removed from Evelyn Burgos and Vanessa Perez, as well as the projectile recovered from the garage below the bedroom where the murders occurred, all were determined to have been discharged from the seized .357 Magnum revolver. The firearm also contained blood spatter that matched Evelyn Burgos and Vanessa Perez.
Additionally, Rodriguez's finger and palm prints were discovered on the deck at the point of entry into 3 Oak Tree Drive.
Just after 8:00 p.m., Providence Police Officer Daniel Sirignano, who was involved in the earlier arrest of Rodriguez, was on patrol in the Chad Brown area. He observed a young boy walking unattended on the sidewalk on Sweetbriar Street, wearing just a diaper. The boy was picked up and confirmed to be Isaiah Perez.
The lead officers from Johnston Police were Major Frank Levesque, Detective Thomas Dwyer, Detective Anthony Sasso, Detective Joshua Heywood, Detective Christopher Decesare, and Lt. Christopher Correia. Providence Police officers who assisted were Sergeant William Dwyer, Detective Emilio Matos, and Detective Teddy Michael as well as Rhode Island State Police Detectives Kenneth DeMarco and Matthew McGuire
Assistant Attorney General Jay Sullivan and Special Assistant Attorney General Joseph McBurney prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.