Local News

Doty trial scheduled for January

— Prosecutors will seek to try together the two principal suspects in the murder of Aaron Doty, Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin said Monday.

Houchin said a hearing is scheduled Aug. 27 in Highlands County Circuit Court to discuss aspects of the case, including whether Kenneth Edward Felipe Jr. and Jonathan Ray Rodriguez can be tried together.

Tentatively, the trial is scheduled for the week of Jan. 11, 2015.

Felipe and Rodriguez are charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

Authorities allege the pair picked a fight with Doty, 20, and then beat him nearly to death at a party on June 10, 2012, where he was last seen. Authorities also accuse the two of setting him on fire in the woods of Sun ‘n Lake when he was still alive.

Felipe and Rodriguez, who were arrested in Orlando after they allegedly fled Highlands County, have been in Highlands County Jail since October 2012.

Earlier this year, Houchin had said he hoped the pair would be tried this summer.

Houchin said if the defense doesn’t agree they should be tried together, another hearing may be needed.

About five defendants have been charged in connection with the murder besides Felipe and Rodriguez.

In May, Adriana Rodriguez was charged with perjury. Authorities said that originally she said she helped clean up Doty’s blood, but she later changed her story.


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