Man found guilty in Cady Way killings trial given 2 life sentences



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A jury handed down a guilty verdict to Hector Rodriguez Wednesday night in the killings of two Winter Park High School teenagers, whose bodies were found burned on the Cady Way Trail.

Rodriguez was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping with intent to commit a felony and two counts of robbery with a firearm in the killing of Nicholas Presha, 16, and Jeremy Stewart, 18. They were shot and killed before their bodies were burned along the trail last year.

Rodriguez was given two life sentences.

The jury deliberated less than five hours before returning the guilty verdict.

Rodriguez's co-defendant, Jesse Davis, pleaded guilty to the killings.

Prosecutor Ken Lewis told the jurors it was a brutal kidnapping and execution pulled off by Rodriguez and Davis.

He said the evidence shows the crime was a two-man job.

"These boys were lined up side by side at the trail and executed with two weapons," said Lewis.

Davis was expected to testify on Tuesday, but backed out, claiming voices in his head told him not to.

Davis is also serving two life sentences for killing the teens. He also confessed to setting their bodies on fire.

Rodriguez admitted he was there as Davis tortured the teens at his home, but said Davis dropped him off before the burnings.

Without the jury in the courtroom, the judge held Davis in contempt for not testifying.

Prosecutors contend Davis was trying to protect Rodriguez, and to protect himself from being viewed as a snitch in state prison.