- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A 60-year-old western New York man was found guilty Friday in the stabbing death of his estranged wife in 1979.

An Erie County Court jury found Michael Rodriguez guilty of second-degree murder after three hours of deliberations, said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The trial lasted two weeks.

The body of 21-year-old Patricia Rodriguez was found in a Lackawanna cemetery near Buffalo on April 13, 1979. Police say she had been stabbed more than 100 times.

Rodriguez wasn’t indicted until November 2013 after state police reopened the unsolved case in 2009 at the request of Lackawanna’s police chief. Investigators used scientific technology that didn’t exist at the time of the slaying to re-examine forensic evidence found at the cemetery.

“I hope today’s verdict brings a small measure of comfort to her family and friends,” said Schneiderman, whose office prosecuted the case. “No murder should go unsolved. Today’s verdict is a reminder that we will never stop seeking justice for victims and their families.”

Rodriguez could be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years to life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 21.

Several trial witnesses testified that they saw Patricia and Michael Rodriguez dancing together at a local bar the night before her body was found.

Rodriguez’s attorney argued that evidence showed his client had no motive to kill the young mother of his two children.



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