Published June 14, 2012
| Associated Press
HOUSTON – The punishment phase has been delayed in the trial of a retired Texas firefighter who was convicted of murder for shooting his unarmed neighbor during a dispute over a noisy birthday party.
Forty-seven-year-old Raul Rodriguez argued he was within his rights under Texas' version of a stand-your-ground law when he killed Kelly Danaher in 2010.
The trial's punishment phase began Thursday as prosecutors in Houston presented neighbors, former co-workers and Rodriguez's ex-wife. They testified Rodriguez was abusive, a bad neighbor and had once shot a dog.
Defense attorneys won't get their chance to call witnesses until June 25. The delay was caused by scheduling conflicts.
Rodriguez killed Danaher, a 36-year-old elementary school teacher, and wounded two other men while telling a police dispatcher, "I'm standing my ground here."