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Alleghany County murder suspect pleads no contest

By Susan Bahorich, sbahorich@wdbj7.com
Published On: Aug 21 2013 10:54:50 AM EDT
Updated On: May 05 2014 05:27:28 PM EDT

Adan "Manuel" Rodriguez is accused of murdering his wife and mother of his four-children on Mother's Day. Ashley Kimberlin Rodriguez's body was found the next day.

ALLEGHANY CO., Va. -

A man who is accused of killing his wife in Alleghany County last year while their children sat in a van nearby has pleaded no contest to first-degree murder.

Adan "Manuel" Quiroz Rodriguez also pleaded no contest to using a firearm in commission of a felony and concealing a dead body. He will be sentenced at a later date.

Rodriguez is accused of killing his wife, Ashley Rodriguez last Mother's Day. Her body was found May 13 in a cemetery where Adan Quiroz Rodriguez worked. He was arrested in North Carolina two-and-a-half weeks after the murder.

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Story from Aug. 21, 2013

An investigator testified in court Wednesday that an Alleghany County murder suspect shot and killed his wife while their kids sat in a van nearby and watched a movie.

Adan "Manuel" Quiroz Rodriguez is accused of killing his wife, Ashley Rodriguez, on Mother's Day. Her body was found May 13 in a cemetery where Adan Quiroz Rodriguez worked. Adan Quiroz Rodriguez was arrested in North Carolina nearly two-and-a-half weeks later.

A judge certified the charges against Rodriguez. The case now goes to the grand jury on October 15.

According to an investigator that took the stand, Adan Rodriguez claims he shot his wife while his four children sat in a nearby van watching cartoons. It was that news that had the victim's brother on his feet and eventually thrown out of the courtroom by deputies.

Rodriguez was brought into the Alleghany County Juvenile and Domestic Relations courtroom Wednesday morning just before 10 a.m.

The purpose of the preliminary hearing was to see if there is enough evidence to prove the Commonwealth's case and move it forward.

Investigator R-C Fridley testified co-workers of Ashley Rodriguez called when she didn't show up for work on Monday, May 13th.

He went on to say Ashley's body was found buried in a dirty pile at Alleghany Memorial Gardens. That's the cemetery her husband works.

Fridley said the two had been fighting because Manuel Rodriguez found text messages on his wife's phone from another man and he thought she was having an affair.

Fridley testified that May 12, two hours before his wife’s death, Manuel Rodriguez bought shotgun shells at a nearby Walmart.

The defense cross examined Fridley and, argued that Ashley had broken nails from struggling with her husband over the gun. The defense claims that Rodriguez accidentally shot his wife during that struggle.

His attorney says that Rodriguez buried the body and went on the run because he was afraid of Ashley's family. The case now goes to the grand jury on October 15th.

From there a trial date will be set.