NORWALK – A South Gate man was convicted today of first-degree murder for beating and strangling his girlfriend after a Fourth of July gathering in 2016.

A jury panel deliberated for less than three hours before finding Oscar Rodriguez Jr., 42, guilty of killing 33-year-old Nancy Molina, who died July 4, 2016, after being taken to a hospital from a residence in the 5200 block of Brookdale Road in South Gate.

Rodriguez faces up to 25 years to life in prison, with sentencing set for June 26.
Rodriguez called 911 from his home and reported that his girlfriend was having trouble breathing. He originally told investigators that he and Molina had been drinking and Molina had fallen, but doctors said her injuries seemed too severe to have been caused by a fall.

South Gate police officers who arrived at the scene said Molina had multiple blunt force injuries and the coroner’s office said blunt force head trauma and strangulation caused her death.

The pair had been dating for a matter of months, a sheriff’s lieutenant told the Los Angeles Times.

Rodriguez has been jailed since his arrest the night of the murder in lieu of $2 million bail.

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