Albert Lea man sentenced to prison after firing gun as a threat

Published 7:02 am Friday, February 19, 2010

An Albert Lea man who fired a handgun into the air to threaten his girlfriend last September was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday in Mower County court.

Hector Adrian Rodriguez, 25, will have to serve at least 48 months of that term actually in jail, in addition to a maximum of 24 months of supervised release, Judge Donald Rysavy ordered.

The punishment actually represents sentencing on three separate case files, as Rodriguez was charged with drug possession and for receiving a stolen firearm after his arrest for the Sept. 23 incident in Austin. However, his sentences will run concurrently.

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Rodriguez’s troubles that September night began outside of Casey’s General Store on 12th Street Southwest after a confrontation between him and his 24-year-old girlfriend, according to a criminal complaint.

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 Austin 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.