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Auburn man charged with second-degree murder in Lea Hill shooting
King County Prosecutors on Tuesday filed second-degree murder charges against an Auburn man in connection with the alleged fatal shooting of his wife’s boyfriend on Lea Hill on April 1.
Gerardo Munoz-Rodriguez, 43, waits in jail at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent on $1 million bail for allegedly killing Chad Venegas, 32. His arraignment is set for April 15 at the RJC.
According to court papers, Vanessa Rodriguez, 33, and her boyfriend, Venegas, arrived at 11008 S.E. 315th St. at 3:15 p.m., to drop something off and “say goodbye to the kids.” Rodriguez and Munoz-Rodriguez, their two children and her mother all live at the home.
According to court papers, when Rodriguez and Venegas arrived, Venegas, who was standing in the passenger side doorway of the car, accused Munoz-
Rodriguez of hitting his wife, Rodriguez. At the time, according to court papers, she had a black eye, which she claimed her husband had given her.
The men started to argue. According to court papers, Venegas said, “You are apparently a man that hits women, are you man enough to hit a real man?”
At this point, Vanessa Rodriguez later told police, her husband ran from the front porch where he had been standing, removed his jacket, and said, “You want a piece of this?” According to court papers, he continued to move toward Venegas, and Venegas was swinging his fist when, court papers say, Munoz-Rodriguez pulled a revolver from his waist band and shot Venegas once in the chest. According to court papers, Munoz-Rodriguez immediately fled the scene in the vehicle his wife and Venegas had arrived in only moments earlier.
Responding medics and police officers tried to revive Venegas, but he died at the scene. According to the doctor who performed the autopsy, court records say, the bullet “devastated” Venegas’ heart.
A short time later, police stopped Munoz-Rodriguez in the 1100 block of 4th Street Southeast and arrested him without incident. According to court records, police later recovered from the vehicle a loaded .357-caliber revolver with five live rounds and one spent cartridge casing in the cylinder.
According to court papers, Munoz-Rodriguez told police that he had shot Venegas in self defense. But court papers say that he then admitted he had not seen a weapon on Venegas. Court papers say he also admitted that Venegas did not do or say anything to indicate that he had a weapon.
According to information filed with the prosecutor’s request for bail, Munoz-Rodriguez has a history of drug and alcohol abuse in California and Washington, and he was previously arrested in California for being under the influence of a controlled substance and for displaying a deadly weapon. In Washington he has been arrested for domestic violence assault and harassment. In 2004, an overdose was reported, and King County Medic One paramedics found him inside after he had been drinking heavily while taking prescription medication for mental health reasons.