MEDFORD, Ore. – A Medford road rage trial wrapped up Friday. More than 3-years after a fatal road rage crash on I-5 in Medford, the accused is walking away not guilty on all charges.
Raleigh Rodrigues, 68 was on trial for manslaughter in the death of motorcyclist Kevin Mayo.
The trial took a turn Thursday as Rodrigues, the defendant took the stand. He testified that he calmly flipped victim Kevin Mayo off, but didn’t think swerving into Mayo’s lane would lead to his death.
The case the prosecution made from the beginning of this week’s trial is that Rodrigues deliberately swerved into Mayo causing the deadly crash. It happened in December of 2017 on I-5 in Medford. Defense lawyers claim Mayo caused his own death by driving recklessly.
Rodrigues spent over an hour on the stand Thursday. It’s rare for defendants in criminal cases to do so.
“I was sad, worried. I couldn’t believe all of this was happening to me. I couldn’t believe the man was dead. I’ve never been in that situation before,” said Rodrigues.
Just after 1:00 p.m. Friday, Rodrigues was found not guilty of manslaughter in the first degree and manslaughter in the second degree. After the verdict was read, Rodrigues slipped out a side door of the courthouse. Attorneys for both sides were unavailable for comment.
Kevin Mayo’s family has been so vocal about their desire to see justice for their son since the crash more than 3 years ago. Outside the courthouse today, they declined an on-camera interview. They told reporters they were disappointed with the verdict.