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Evidence concludes in Rodriguez jury trial, jury close to receiving case
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Evidence concludes in Rodriguez jury trial, jury close to receiving case

From the May crime report: School shooting, murder trial, sex offender lawsuit and more series
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Gilberto Flores Rodriquez trial

Gilberto Flores Rodriquez sits on trial for the first degree murder of Regina Krieger in 1995 on Tuesday at the Cassia County Judicial Center in Burley.

BURLEY — The prosecution and defense attorneys in the Gilberto Flores Rodriguez first-degree murder trial finished presenting evidence Monday.

Rodriguez is charged with murdering 14-year-old Regina Krieger in 1995.

The jury will reconvene Tuesday for instructions and closing arguments before the cases is handed over to the jury for deliberation.

The defense called former Cassia County Sheriff’s detective Robert Taylor to the stand Monday and questioned him about the cold case, which he began working on years after the murder.

Krieger disappeared from a basement bedroom and was found several weeks later. Krieger’s throat has been cut and there was a stab wound to her heart along with injuries to her head, face and hand.

Defense Attorney Keith Roark questioned Taylor about prison inmate Cody Thompson changing details of the story he’s told police over the years, which included variations in the color and make of the car Rodriguez drove on the night of the murder, his involvement and the involvement of other people in the murder, and Thompson’s story about going to a home where Thompson and Rodriguez washed Krieger’s blood off of them and buried the knife used to kill her.

“Cody Thompson has told seven different stories,” Roark said, and Taylor agreed.

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Larsen later called witness Melissa Hawker, whose sister testified last week about being Krieger’s friend and going into her bedroom after the murder to see if anything was missing.

Hawker said she had seen Thompson twice with the family members who lived at the house where Thompson said they had washed the blood off — but she said the home was on Elba Avenue.

Taylor testified the house was between Burley and Declo. Search warrants had been issued and police used metal detectors and a backhoe — but never found the knife.

Roark also went over a statement by Greeley, Colorado, law enforcement agencies stating they had “so many bodies show up there” that police would need more details to confirm the truth of statements made by former witness and prison inmate Carlos Tena, who said he was with Rodriguez when he murdered a man there.

Tena also said Rodriguez was involved in murders in Mexico, Arizona and Utah.

Tena had testified that Rodriguez had told him on several occasions that he’d killed Krieger and that federal agents were investigating him in the case.

Cassia County Prosecutor McCord Larsen asked Taylor just one question during cross examination: if he believed that the statements he filed in court documents in the case were true.

“Yes,” Taylor said.

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