Schenectady County

Schenectady man pleads guilty to van-dispute murder

A Schenectady man has admitted to opening fire and killing a man in a dispute over a van. Alexis Rod

Categories: News, Schenectady County

A Schenectady man has admitted to opening fire and killing a man in a dispute over a van, Schenectady County District Attorney’s officials said.

Alexis Rodriguez, 36, formerly of Crane Street, pleaded guilty today to one count each of second-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Rodriguez admitted to shooting and killing 30-year-old Jose Sanchez on Bridge Street on Nov. 24, 2014. He also admitted to being an accomplice to the stabbing of Sanchez’s 28-year-old brother Victor Sanchez. Victor Sanchez survived.

Rodriguez is to be sentenced in January to 20 years to life in state prison.

Authorities believe four people went to Bridge Street that evening intent on robbing Jose Sanchez of a van, prosecutor Brian Gray said today. The van ended up not being there, but the shooting and stabbing soon erupted, Gray said.

Two of the four have since been arrested: Rodriguez and 23-year-old Jonathan Gomez, formerly of Philadelphia. Gomez faces murder and attempted robbery charges as an accomplice in both. He is to appear in court for a hearing Friday.

Two others have not been apprehended nearly a year later, Gray said.

Of the four, Rodriguez opened fire and killed Jose Sanchez using what is believed to have been a semi-automatic assault rifle, Gray said. Those shots proved to be the fatal. Police never recovered the rifle.

One of the two still at large allegedly stabbed Victor Sanchez. Authorities believe one of the other three twice fired a handgun, also hitting Jose Sanchez.

All four face murder charges; the two still at large also face possible further grand jury action, Gray said.

“They went there to do the robbery of the van with two firearms,” Gray said. “Everybody who was in that car to go do the robbery, they knew what was going on.”

Gray said the dispute that led to the shooting had roots in another gunpoint robbery about a month earlier and in an agreement between Jose Sanchez and Rodriguez to sell the van to Rodriguez on payments.

Rodriguez failed to make a payment of $250, Gray said, and a group led by Jose Sanchez went armed to take back the van. No shots were fired, but one man has since been charged in connection with that robbery, Gray said.

Police arrested Victor Marin, 26, of Yates Village, last month on charges of first-degree robbery. He is accused of displaying a handgun while taking the victim’s keys and minivan, according to papers filed in his case.

Police took Marin into custody after a foot chase at Yates Village that left an officer with a cut to his hand.

In the November 2014 confrontation on Bridge Street, Gray said Rodriguez and his group went to take the van back. Apparently unknown to them, however, Jose Sanchez had already sold it to someone else.

An argument erupted on the street and lasted about a minute, Gray said, then Rodriguez opened fire.

Neighbors on the street said they heard 10 to 15 gunshots around 7 p.m. that evening from what sounded like a semi-automatic weapon or machine gun.

Attorney James Tyner represented Rodriguez. Tyner could not be reached for comment today.

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