Crime

Shooting suspect who vanished during police standoff sentenced to prison

Richard Anthony Rodriguez, 30, of Nipomo, was sentenced to 14 years in state prison Wednesday after being convicted of attempted murder.
Richard Anthony Rodriguez, 30, of Nipomo, was sentenced to 14 years in state prison Wednesday after being convicted of attempted murder. Courtesy of the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office

A man convicted of attempted murder, who slipped away from a Paso Robles motel in February and caused a daylong police standoff with an empty room, was sentenced Wednesday to 14 years in state prison.

Richard Anthony Rodriguez, 30, of Nipomo was convicted July 13 of one count of attempted murder for firing a handgun at a former girlfriend after pulling up alongside her car on a Nipomo street in February. She was not injured in the incident.

On Wednesday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court, Rodriguez was sentenced to seven years in prison for the attempted murder charge. The sentence was doubled because of a prior strike on his record, said Lee Cunningham, San Luis Obispo County assistant district attorney.

In the early morning hours of Feb. 19, Paso Robles police officers spotted Rodriguez’s GMC Yukon outside a Motel 6 on Black Oak Road. Officers “positively identified” Rodriguez as being in the room before alerting the Sheriff’s Office, said sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla.

Deputies arrived about 45 minutes later and cordoned off the area. A SWAT team also went to the scene, and authorities used a loudspeaker over the course of the day to urge Rodriguez to come out. Officers finally broke down the door around mid-afternoon and sent in a robot equipped with a camera, only to find the room empty.

Rodriguez was arrested 11 days later following a traffic stop in Arroyo Grande.

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