An Oahu man has avoided a murder charge, but may still be going to prison.
A jury found Dale Rodriguez Jr. guilty of assault Thursday.Prosecutors had charged Rodriguez with murder for the death of Jesse Waikiki on Salt Lake Blvd.
Waikiki died in December 2014 after getting into a fight with Rodriguez.Rodriguez’s fiancee claims Waikiki attacked her and Rodriguez was just defending her.
Prosecutor Scott Bell said “the jury made their decision and the prosecution respects it, although it disagrees with it. The prosecution believes the evidence was sufficient to prove murder. The jury’s verdict rejected self-defense and defense of others, but they found him guilty of something else.”
“I was hoping for self defense,” said Rodriguez’ attorney Michael Green. “I’m happy with what we have and we’ll go forward from there.”
Rodriguez is set to be sentenced in February. Prosecutors say they will seek the maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.