EVANSVILLE, In (WEHT) – Day one of the jury trial of Mateo Reymundo Rodriguez has come to a close in Vanderburgh County Circuit Court with no verdict and witnesses still to be called.
According to an earlier press release, Evansville Police were dispatched on April 3, 2022, at around 9 p.m. to the Conoco gas station in reference to a hit and run with injury. When police arrived, a female victim was laying in the parking lot with multiple injuries. She was transported to a local hospital but passed away shortly after. The victim was identified as 33-year-old Megan Schaefer.
After talking to witnesses and reviewing video, it was discovered Rodriguez was allegedly hanging out in the parking lot with another male. A white 2017 Honda Civic was stolen shortly after pulling in, and before driving away, Rodriguez appeared to run over Schaefer.
Shauntay Fairrow was the owner of the Civic. She testified she went inside the gas station to get a fountain drink. She also said she left the vehicle unlocked and still running. When she left the store, she said her vehicle was already gone, and she saw a woman on the ground.
Evan Toyooka was working at St. Vincent Hospital in Evansville that night when Schaefer arrived at 9:21 p.m. He testified Schaefer was not responsive with a very low heart beat. Attempts to revive were not successful and Schaefer was declared deceased at 9:43 p.m.
James Curtis lives near the gas station. He said he wasn’t home at the time the incident happened, but when he did come home, Detective Todd Lincoln was waiting. Lincoln downloaded video from Curtis’ security cameras which showed a car hitting a woman.
Jesse Singh is the manager of the Conoco gas station. He said he was at home and was notified of what happened by a coworker. When he arrived, he found Schaefer laying on the ground.
Detective Jonathan Helm said while he didn’t recognize the two suspects at first, he did recognize Rodriguez a little later. He stated Rodriguez was wearing a black shirt with gold emblems. He also assisted a search warrant at Rodriguez’s house and said the same shirt was in a bag in Rodriguez’s bedroom.
Officer Korey Winn also recognized Rodriguez during testimony.
Mark Decamps works as a crime scene detective and also assisted the search warrant. He showed pictures of Rodriguez’s house and the shopping bag to the jury and said there was also a ski mask in the bedroom. He also showed the jury the mask, pants and shirt Rodriguez allegedly wore that night.
Phillip Luecke is also a crime scene detective, and he showed pictures of aspirated blood, belonging to Schaefer. Aspirated blood is when air mixes with the blood and bubbles form.
Chris Kiefer was the final person to be called to the stand for the day. He works as a state medical examiner for the state of Kentucky, Illinois and Indiana. He said he performed an autopsy of Schaefer on April 4, 2022 and observed multiple skull fractures and injuries to the brain plus hemorrhaging of the brain stem. He said these injuries were likely the result of death. Kiefer added there was “little chance of survival” with similar injuries, and death will result in a few minutes. The autopsy results were submitted with no objection.
It was later revealed Schaefer had multiple drugs in her system at the time of death including methamphetamine. This caused a lot of debate between the state and defense, asking if it was possible Schaefer’s decision making could be impacted as a result of the drugs.
11 names were called from the prosecution to testify.
Rodriguez is still being charged with the following:
- Criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon
- Auto theft
- Leaving the scene of fataility
- Operating without receiving license
Glenn Grampp is representing Rodriguez and Heath Tuley is representing the state of Indiana.
The trial is set to resume at 8 a.m. Thursday morning.