Man up for parole in brutal 1974 murder - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL


Man up for parole in brutal 1974 murder

In only two weeks a man convicted of a 1974 murder will be up for parole once again.

Jacinto Rodriquez is still serving time after murdering then 19-year-old Kelly Zettle and beating her roommate, Bobbi Ann Ostrander.

Both were students at UAH.

WAFF 48's Robyn Mcglohn spoke with a family friend who is lobbying to keep this man behind bars.

At the time of his conviction, the death penalty was still under review by the State of Alabama.

He received life in prison, but with a possible chance for parole.

Every 5 years his family relives that crime as Rodriquez goes before the parole board.

The story in this WAFF 48 Investigator's Report.

It was along Robbins Road in Madison County, some 34 years ago, that a young 19-year-old Kelly Zettle, a UAH freshman was murdered and Ostrander was beaten and raped.

After a 2 day manhunt, their attacker, Jacinto Rodriquez was captured.

To this day he still sits in prison.

Robin Rawls was a childhood friend of Zettles.

"It's our goal to make the sentence he serves, the one the judge intended."

Living in Montgomery, she has never forgotten the crime that took her best friend.

"It was a planned premeditated effort to basically manipulate Kelly and her friend."

She says Rodriquez took advantage of them both, posing as a member of a church in need of musical talent.

She says he lured the two musically inclined students to a home on Robbins Road where he savagely beat them.

But in 1974 after he was convicted of murder, the death penalty in the State of Alabama was under review.

"At the time the judge imposed the maximum sentence he could, which was just life with a chance for parole.

The sentence has the Zettles' and Rawls' on edge every 5 years.

"Each time that happens the family is really re-victimized the pain and the grief and everything that surrounds this terrible act of violence comes to surface again and again."

And once again that pain will resurface on October 15th.

The man that took 2 teens innocence will go before the parole board and once again, family and friends will fight.

This is the first parole hearing Zettle's family will not make it to.

They're urging anyone and everyone to write letters of protest to the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles in Montgomery.

The letters have to be received by October 9th.


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