Brothers Convicted in Carroll County of Attempted Murder in Hate Crime Attack

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On March 7, 2024, a Carroll County jury found brothers Hector Rodriguez, 56, and Jesus Rodriguez Vicerra, 47, both from Chicago, Illinois, guilty of Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Aggravated Battery. Hector Rodriguez was additionally convicted of Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer and Driving Under the Influence. Superior Court Judge Dustin Hightower oversaw the trial and handed down sentences of 20 years in prison followed by 11 years on probation for Hector Rodriguez, and 30 years in prison for Jesus Rodriguez Vicerra, the maximum allowed under Georgia law due to the merging of charges.

Assistant District Attorney Maggie Meetze and DA Investigator Becky Byrd prosecuted the case, aided by Victim Advocate Katelynn Culbreath. Sergeant Kyle Jones of the Carrollton Police Department led the investigation. Evidence presented during the trial revealed that on March 11, 2023, the defendants assaulted the victim at a shared rental house, sparked by religious taunting aimed at the victim’s Christian faith.

According to testimonies, the altercation escalated from verbal to physical, with Jesus Rodriguez Vicerra forcibly removing the victim’s Saint Jude pendant before a fist fight ensued. As the victim attempted to leave the premises, Hector Rodriguez allegedly handed his brother a pocket knife and commanded him to “kill him.” Jesus Rodriguez Vicerra then stabbed the victim in the arm, severing an artery. Despite the attack, the victim managed to flee to a nearby church parking lot where he collapsed.

A passing University of West Georgia student witnessed the incident and promptly alerted authorities. Carrollton Police officers arrived swiftly, applying a tourniquet to the victim’s arm to staunch the bleeding before he was airlifted to Grady for emergency surgery. The defendants attempted to escape in their truck but were apprehended following a brief pursuit. Hector Rodriguez was found to be intoxicated while Jesus Rodriguez Vicerra was found in possession of two knives, one of which tested positive for the victim’s DNA.

The quick response of law enforcement prevented a potentially fatal outcome, with the incident characterized as a hate crime.

“This was essentially a hate crime that would have resulted in a murder if not for the quick action of Carrollton Police Department,” said DA John Herbert Cranford, Jr. “I am thankful that this victim will be able to practice his faith freely while these defendants spend decades in Georgia‚Äôs prison system.”