MORENO VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — After spending the last 18 years in prison, a man convicted in a double murder was out on bail in Orange County.
Henry Rodriguez’s release from Theo Lacy Facility in Orange this week comes after a judge ruled that authorities withheld evidence in the case.READ MORE: CNN Fires Chris Cuomo
The 39-year-old was serving a life sentence after being convicted of helping a friend dump the body of Jeanette Espeleta into the waters off Long Beach in 1998.
Rodriguez’s friend – the father of Espeleta’s unborn daughter – killed her because he didn’t want to pay child support, authorities said.
It’s the latest felony case to crumble over questions related to the Orange County District Attorney’s office’s use of jailhouse informants.READ MORE: Officials Upset With Placement Of Sexually Violent Predator In Antelope Valley
A judge recently reduced bail and awarded Rodriguez a retrial after ruling that the evidence about a jailhouse informant was improperly withheld.
Dwight Espeleta, the victim’s uncle, says he questions the entire justice system and wonders why the family was not notified.
An Orange County defense attorney said Rodriguez is just one in a long line of convicted criminals that will likely receive a lesser sentence because of the use of jailhouse informants.MORE NEWS: 23rd Annual 'A Home For The Holidays At The Grove' Comes To CBS On Sunday, December 5th
The OCDA’s office is appealing the ruling that granted a retrial, according to the Orange County Register.