MAN CONVICTED AND FOUND LEGALLY SANE IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES STABBING-MURDER OF CAFÉ EMPLOYEE WHILE VICTIM WAS CLEANING BUSINE

Case # 14WF4214

Date: October 30, 2017

MAN CONVICTED AND FOUND LEGALLY SANE IN SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES STABBING-MURDER OF CAFÉ EMPLOYEE WHILE VICTIM WAS CLEANING BUSINESS

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was found legally sane today after having been convicted of the special circumstances stabbing-murder of a café employee while the victim was cleaning the business.

Defendant

Charges

Maximum Sentence

Court Date

Robert Gabriel Rodgers, 23, Anaheim

Found guilty by a jury on Oct. 3, 2017, of:

  • One felony count of first degree murder

Sentencing Enhancements Found True

  • Special circumstances – lying in wait
  • Personal use of a knife

Pleaded guilty on Sept. 20, 2017, to:

  • One felony count of assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury

Sentencing Enhancement

  • Causing great bodily injury

Life in state prison without the possibility of parole

Sentencing

Nov. 17, 2017, 9:00 a.m.

Department C-30, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Nov. 14, 2014, at approximately 5:00 a.m., Rodgers pushed his mother down the stairs into the parking garage and continued to assault her near their Anaheim residence.
  • At approximately 9:30 a.m., Rodgers waited outside of the Volcano Tea House in Garden Grove prior to the business opening and lured 24-year-old employee Cesar Ramirez-Raphael to the door by pretending to need help.
  • The defendant stabbed Ramirez-Raphael, whom he did not know, multiple times with knives in both hands.
  • Rodgers dragged Ramirez-Raphael into a back room during the attack and placed the victim’s body in a trash can, where he died as a result of multiple stab wounds.
  • The defendant attempted to clean the scene and called 911.
  • Another employee arrived outside of the business and Rodgers attempted to lure her inside.
  • The second employee locked the defendant inside the café from the outside.
  • The Garden Grove Police Department, who investigated this case, arrived and arrested the defendant.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Herrera, Homicide Unit