MARLBOROUGH, MASS. (WHDH) - A man who allegedly told a friend that he fatally shot his 20-year-old girlfriend while she was sitting in a car outside his apartment in Hudson last week was denied bail Monday, as the woman’s family is calling for justice.
Luis Santos, 23, of Hudson, was arraigned in Marlborough District Court in connection with the death of Karla Rodriguez, of Framingham.
Santos surrendered to police after authorities obtained a warrant for his arrest Friday on charges including assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, unlawful possession of a firearm, and armed assault with intent to murder, according to the Middlesex District Attorney Marian T. Ryan’s Office.
Officers responding to a report of shots fired in a parking lot on Howe Street near Camela A. Farley Elementary School around 2 p.m. on Wednesday found Rodriguez suffering from apparent gunshot wounds, authorities said.
Prosecutors say Santos shot Rodriguez through the windshield while she sat in her car outside of his apartment. A bullet is said to have struck her in the head.
Rodriguez was taken to an area hospital before being flown to UMass Memorial Hospital in Worcester, where she succumbed to her injuries just after midnight Friday.
Court documents indicate the couple had been dating for about three months and that Rodriguez was pregnant with Santos’ baby. Their relationship reportedly started to deteriorate after Santos learned of her pregnancy.
The victim’s mother told police that Santos had threatened to kill her daughter prior to the alleged murder. Investigators say surveillance cameras captured Santos in the act on Dec. 12. They also say he made an urgent phone call to a friend moments later.
“I need, I need help,” Santos allegedly told his friend, according to Prosecutor Joe Gentile. “I killed Karla.”
Gentile also told the court that Santos tried to purchase a flight to Puerto Rico. Santos’ attorney argued that his client isn’t a flight risk.
“When he found out there were was a warrant for him, he called me and turned himself in,” said defense attorney Rory Munns.
Rodriguez leaves behind a 10-month-old son. Her family could be seen leaving the court in tears.
“It’s a loss on both sides. We just want justice,” said cousin Isabel Famania-Banks. “She was full of life – a beautiful soul – a really good human being and it’s just sad she was taken from us so soon.”
The charges against Santos are expected to be upgraded pending a ruling from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner on the cause and manner of Rodriguez’s death.
Famania-Banks said she hopes her family’s loss is a lesson for anyone in a similar situation.
“In a bad situation … speak up, say something,” Famania-Banks said.
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