Albert Lea man pleads guilty following alleged gun incident

Published 6:55 am Tuesday, February 2, 2010

An Albert Lea man accused of firing a handgun into the air to threaten his girlfriend in September pleaded guilty to multiple criminal charges Monday in Mower County court.

Hector Adrian Rodriguez, 25, could now face up to 30 years in prison. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

Rodriguez plead guilty to one count of felony assault, one count of felony drug possession and a third felony count for receiving stolen property.

A misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge stemming from a separate incident in August was dismissed as part of his plea agreement.

According to a court complaint, Rodriguez fired a 40-caliber handgun a number of times on the evening of Sept. 23 near Casey’s General Store on 12th Street Southwest after a confrontation between him and his 24-year-old girlfriend.

The two were at a party at 1304 16th Ave. SW when Rodriguez allegedly poured beer over the woman.

She began to leave, at which point Rodriguez walked up and hit her in the right side of the face, the complaint states.

The woman began to call 911, and Rodriguez fired the gun into the air. A 19-year-old friend of the woman said she saw Rodriguez initially point the gun at them until another man pushed his arm upward.

When officers arrived, Rodriguez had left the scene, but they were able to find one shell casing in the yard. There is reason to believe someone had picked up a number of other shells, former police chief Paul Philipp said.

On the evening of Sept. 24, a woman who lives at 1304 16th Ave. SW called police and said Rodriguez had recently been at her residence.

The woman said he had shown her a handgun before leaving in a green car.

Rodriguez was tracked down and apprehended at gunpoint that night at around 11 p.m. at the Bremerton Apartments. He initially denied owning a gun, but told authorities on Sept. 25 that he would reveal where he hid the weapon, which had previously been reported as stolen, according to records.

Police also found 16.8 grams of methamphetamine on Rodriguez during his arrest, records show.

Rodriguez has a lengthy criminal history, which includes an August 2009 sentencing for felony drug possession in Freeborn County as well as a number of traffic violations.