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New trial date for man charged with killing grandfather

January 9, 2018

ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (AP) — A new trial date has been scheduled for a northwest Iowa man accused of stabbing to death his 84-year-old grandfather and setting the man’s home aflame.

Court records say the trial of 20-year-old Santos Rodriguez Jr. was set to begin Tuesday. The judge granted the defense attorney’s request for more time to prepare and set a new starting date of May 1.

Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and arson. He’s accused of stabbing Luis Luevanos in his Rock Valley home on Oct. 29 and starting the fire. Firefighters found Luevanos’ body later that day.

Police say Rodriguez soon left for Utah and was taken into custody there. Iowa investigators interviewed him there and say Rodriguez admitted stabbing his grandfather and setting the fire.

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