Chicago Cop Convicted of Shooting Wife in Head at Their Oak Forest Home

Cook County jury took about an hour Friday to convict a former Chicago police officer of the 2009 slaying of his wife at their Oak Forest home.

Norberto Rodriguez was found guilty of the first-degree murder of Irma Rodriguez, and of concealing a homicide. Prosecutors alleged Rodriguez, 57, shot his wife multiple times on May 31, 2009, and drove her car, with her body in the trunk, to Midlothian, where it was found the next day.

“We finally closed the doors on such an ugly past,” Monica Medina, Irma Rodriguez’s daughter, said after the jury decision.

Medina was 16 when her mother was killed. Norberto Rodriguez was her stepfather.

“It wasn’t just the last eight years waiting for trial. We’ve been dealing with this since we were little. Since we were little, we were living with this evil man,” Medina said.

Prosecutors argued Norberto Rodriguez shot Irma Rodriguez, a 44-year-old mother of three, in the back and back of the head at point-blank range while she was lying facedown in the car trunk inside their garage. Fragments of the same silver-tipped, hollow-point type of bullet recovered from Irma Rodriguez’s body were found in the garage by investigators.

Norberto Rodriguez became enraged when he found out his wife, who was planning to leave him, withdrew $4,000 days earlier out of a family bank account that she had planned to use as part of a down payment on a new home with her boyfriend, prosecutors argued.

Norberto Rodriguez had been using his disabled mother’s ATM card to make regular cash withdrawals from a bank account in her and Irma Rodriguez’s names, prosecutors argued.

“He knew she took the money, and he was going to make her pay for it,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Coleman told jurors.

Coleman described Rodriguez as a “disgraced former cop,” who was fired from his job with the Chicago Police Department after shooting Irma Rodriguez in the hand in 1997 during a domestic dispute. A 911 call made by one of the couple’s children recorded Norberto Rodriguez telling his wife, “You’re dead, ” followed later by a single gunshot, she said.

The abuse continued for years after the first shooting, and culminated in Irma Rodriguez’s murder, prosecutors said.

The defense argued that no physical evidence tied Norberto Rodriguez to the crime. No fingerprints or DNA evidence was recovered inside the car connecting anyone to the murder, and no murder weapon ever was found.

Some of the evidence prosecutors heavily relied on to convince the jury were cellphone records, which showed Norberto Rodriguez in the vicinity of where his wife’s body was found shortly after the time they believed she was killed.

“There is no evidence that points to anyone else,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly Grekstas said.

Norberto Rodriguez returns to court Sept. 21 for post-trial motions.