ShareThis Page
Slay suspect fell into ‘stress overload’ |

Slay suspect fell into ‘stress overload’

The Associated Press
| Sunday, November 8, 2009 12:00 a.m

ORLANDO, Fla. — Jason Rodriguez’s marriage long ago went sour, his home taken in foreclosure, his job lost to incompetence, his finances sunk in bankruptcy. It was a “stress overload” for the man accused of a deadly shooting rampage at his former office, his lawyer said Saturday.

The 40-year-old man whose life seemed to just keep getting worse was charged yesterday with first-degree murder, accused of killing one and wounding five Friday in his former office. He said nothing in his brief court appearance, but his attorney portrayed him as a mentally ill man who fell victim to countless problems.

“This guy is a compilation of the front page of the entire year — unemployment, foreclosure, bankruptcy, divorce — all of the stresses,” said the public defender, Bob Wesley. “He has been declining in mental health. There is no logic whatsoever, which points to a mental health case. It looks like a classic case of stress overload.”

Police refused to say anything more yesterday about their investigation into the shooting. But as Rodriguez remained on suicide watch at the Orange County Jail, a portrait of his crumbling life began to emerge.

He couldn’t pay the child support he owed for his 8-year-old son. He was nearly $90,000 behind on bills, his bankruptcy file showed. A once-promising, but short-lived career at an engineering firm faded into a job at a fast-food chain.

Wesley described his client as “very, very mentally ill” but offered no specifics. His former mother-in-law, America Holloway, said he was a schizophrenic who was constantly paranoid, blaming others for all of his woes and who always thought everyone disliked him.

The suspect’s own mother struggled for words to defend her son. She could only muster an apology.

“Sorry for the families involved,” Ana Rodriguez said. “I’m really very sorry, it is very hurtful.”

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.