A 17-year-old boy may face murder charges for a July 4 shooting in Pasco.
Family members said the bullet damaged the brain of Jorge Rodriguez, 51, and left him in a vegetative state. His daughter, Darlin Molina, said doctors have told the family that he is dying.
“We have hope that he will wake up, but it’s highly unlikely,” she said. “He’s a great person. He didn’t deserve this.”
Pedro Cadenas, the teen accused of pulling the trigger, appeared in juvenile court for the first time Monday afternoon. He is held in the Benton-Franklin Juvenile Detention Center, and prosecutors have until Tuesday to file formal charges.
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Court Commissioner Jacqueline Stam determined on Friday there was enough cause to hold him on suspicion of first-degree assault, drive-by shooting and attempted theft of a vehicle.
Franklin County Prosecutor Shawn Sant anticipates Cadenas will face charges in adult court.
Between 2015 and 2016, Cadenas racked up a series of convictions, including assaults, motor vehicle thefts and harassment. He served time in juvenile rehabilitation.
Now facing a possible murder charge, Sant asked Superior Court Judge Cameron Mitchell to set bail at $750,000.
Defense Attorney Karyn Oldfield said the amount of bail was excessive for a juvenile, and asked Mitchell to set bail at $250,000.
Mitchell set bail at $750,000 and said attorneys can argue about bail again if the case moves to adult court.
Sant said the reasons for Cadenas’ alleged attack remain under investigation.
Molina was told the teen was trying to steal the Cadillac Escalade that Rodriguez, a farm worker, was driving, she said.
She spoke to her father about a half hour before the shooting, she said. He called to ask if they had tomatoes in the fridge, and said he was going to the grocery store to get them.
Around the same time, Cadenas stepped away from a barbecue he was attending near the intersection of 28th Avenue and West A Street in Pasco.
Sometime after that, Cadenas got into the Escalade with Rodriguez.
They were heading west on Lewis Street when Rodriguez was shot. The Cadillac went careening off the road, through a fence and into a parked Mustang, according to Pasco police.
Surveillance video shows Cadenas and Rodriguez exiting the SUV.
As Rodriguez walked away, Cadenas tried to hop back into it and drive away, but the gas tank was stuck on the fence post.
The next time Molina heard from her father was after he handed his phone to a bystander, who told her that her father had been shot, she said.
“My dad had enough time to dial my phone number and give it to someone,” she said. “He told me to hurry and get here.”
Rodriguez was initially treated at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland and then airlifted to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane.
He is off life support, but has not come out of a coma, Molina said.
“We’re trying to keep our options open, but our options are really expensive and we don’t know what to do,” she said.
The family has set up a GoFundMe account at bit.ly/JorgeRodriguez.