Trial of Luis Santos in 2019 Hudson murder concludes


Trial of Luis Santos in 2019 Hudson murder concludes
Luis Santos appeared in court on Jan. 30. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

HUDSON – The trial of Luis Santos, 26, related to the death of Karla Rodriguez in 2019 has come to a close.

Luis Santos was indicted with murder and carrying a firearm without a license.

Santos’ trial before a jury in Middlesex County Superior Court began on Jan. 19 and came to a close on Jan. 31 as defense and prosecution delivered their closing statements.

Dec. 12, 2019

Defense attorney Debra Dewitt argued that Santos had been in a relationship with Rodriguez on Dec. 12, 2019, and the pair lived at an apartment at 7 Howe Street. She argued that Santos had been excited when he learned that Rodriguez was pregnant.

According to Dewitt’s closing statement, the night before, Rodriguez had spent the night at her mother’s home in Framingham, and the next day she went to Planned Parenthood in Worcester to undergo an abortion.

After, Rodriguez reportedly asked for a ride home, but her mother was at work and could not pick her up, according to the statement of facts filed in Superior Court.

“The victim was picked up by Santos and while driving back to Hudson, she continued to text with her mother and told her that Santos was very mad and was calling and texting people and making disparaging comments about Ms. Rodriguez,” the statement of facts read.

Dewitt argued that Rodriguez had not told Santos, and at some point, Rodriguez’s mother told her that she needed to tell him the truth. However, Prosecutor Joseph Gentile argued that they don’t know whether Rodriguez did tell Santos about the procedure.

Hudson Police Department responded to two 911 calls at 7 Howe Street. When police arrived, Rodriguez, 20, was unresponsive and in the driver’s seat of a Subaru that had come to rest against a fence on the side of the driveway.

According to court documents, police saw two gunshots into the windshield of the vehicle. Rodriguez was transported to Marlborough Hospital with what police described as a life threatening gunshot wound to the head.

She was later pronounced deceased at 12:47 a.m. the next morning.

During his closing statement, Gentile showed video surveillance from outside of 7 Howe Street.

According to the statement of facts, a man is seen opening the driver’s side door of a Toyota Corolla that had been parked at the start of the driveway and take an object from the vehicle.

According to court documents, the Subaru travels further along the driveway before it turns around in the rear parking lot and drives down the driveway toward Howe Street.

“The male party is seen approaching the Subaru on foot as the Subaru is trying to pull out of the driveway. The vehicle stops, backs up and then begins to move forward as the male is observed to point what appears to be a firearm and shoot into the windshield of the Subaru,” the court documents read.

The man reportedly walked away and toward Apsley Street.

A relative of Santos and her boyfriend reportedly identified the person in a still photo from the surveillance video as Santos.

Santos turned himself into the police on Dec. 13. According to Gentile, a gun was not  recovered.

“It was a decision by the defendant, and he made it, and followed through,” said Gentile.

However, Dewitt said that the “devil is in the details,” arguing several points, including that the apartment building hadn’t been secured and the cars weren’t searched because, if they had been, it would have been documented in the report. She also argued that the police interview of Rodriguez’s mother hadn’t been videotaped and a relative translated.

“The details are important. The details show the what and why,” said Dewitt.