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Man gets two life sentences for brutal murder of pregnant girlfriend and baby

by | Feb 1, 2024

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser 

A Florida man has received two life sentences for murdering his pregnant girlfriend and their preborn child during a horrific case in which the murderer tried to blame the victim for the crime.

Jay Leonard Rodriguez was accused of beating Jennifer Barreras to death; Barreras was six months pregnant. She was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital, and doctors tried frantically to keep her baby girl, named Aralynn, alive. Sadly, Aralynn also died just a few short minutes after birth.

According to the medical examiner, the beating was so vicious that Rodriguez left shoe tread marks on Barrera’s skull.

In October of 2020, Barreras’ roommate, Jessica Gonzalez heard her screaming and ran to help her. Gonzalez said she saw Rodriguez pinned against the bedroom wall, being punched repeatedly. She tried to intervene, but Rodriguez threatened her, too. She said that Rodriguez threw Barreras onto a tile floor and kicked her stomach before repeatedly stomping on her.

“He was picking her up and slamming her to the ground at least four or five times,” Gonzalez testified. “Stomping on her and stomping on her stomach over and over again.”

Yet Rodriguez testified that Barreras was the aggressor, claiming that she slapped him first. “When I left that night she was alive, and she was cussing at me like she always do when you have little respect,” he said, adding, “I probably grabbed her from not hitting me no more. I was telling her I was about to leave ‘don’t hit me no more.’”

After Rodriguez left, Gonzalez attempted to give Barreras CPR until paramedics arrived to take her to the hospital, where she was declared dead. Aralynn was born after doctors performed an emergency c-section, but was unable to be saved.

Ultimately, it took jurors less than one hour to return a verdict for two counts of murder in the second degree — one for Barreras, and one for Aralynn. Hillsborough Circuit Judge Samantha Ward then gave him two life sentences, so Rodriguez will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.

Categories: Crime