Police At Home Of Man Accused Of Double Murder

Rojas was previously charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed kidnapping and one count of attempted armed robbery

By Karen Franklin and Gilma Avalos
|  Friday, May 4, 2012  |  Updated 11:13 PM EDT
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Police were at the West Miami-Dade home Friday of Jose Rojas, who is accused of murdering two people inside a Coral Gables office building last week. Five detective vehicles and a squad car were at the house. Rojas remains behind bars on no bond before his arraignment.

Police were at the West Miami-Dade home Friday of Jose Rojas, who is accused of murdering two people inside a Coral Gables office building last week. Five detective vehicles and a squad car were at the house. Rojas remains behind bars on no bond before his arraignment.

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Police were at the home Friday of the man accused of murdering two people inside a Coral Gables office building last week.

Miami-Dade Police and investigators entered the home of 43-year-old Jose Rojas Friday just off 147th Avenue in West Miami-Dade as part of an ongoing investigation. Rojas was previously charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of armed kidnapping and one count of attempted armed robbery, according to an arrest affidavit.

Five detective vehicles and a squad car were at the house. Neighbor Mayda Smalley said that police have been at Rojas' home every day since his arrest.

A Miami-Dade Police spokesperson said the homicide investigation was ongoing and there would be no further comment.

On Tuesday authorities identified the two victims as 78-year-old Robert A. James and 59-year-old Frances C. Venezia. All three worked at Venezia's insurance adjusters company at 801 Monterrey St., said James' longtime friend and roommate, Fransesco Giordano.

On Friday night a modest group of friends and family came to say their goodbyes to James at Ferdinand Funeral Home, including Giordano. Venezia's children were also there.

"This is a double tragedy for me. Thinking those kids now they don't have anybody, really it's hard," Giordano said.

Rojas told police he put a hood over his head and gloves on his hands and waited for James and Venezia to arrive at work last Friday. He held them hostage and forced Venezia to write him a check from her checking account, a report said.

He then struck the woman with a mop stick after she started screaming, the report said. Since Venezia would not stop yelling, the man also began to scream, Rojas told officials.

The report said Rojas does not remember what happened next but remembers pools of blood in the office and on himself.

Giordano, who was in Italy at the time, said he heard some of what his roommate and Venezia experienced over the phone. James had "a feeble voice," he said.

"He said I'm so weak, we're being robbed, call the police," Giordano said.

Both victims appeared to have suffered blunt trauma and multiple lacerations, the report said. Their exact cause of death is pending the results of the Medical Examiner's Office.

Rojas remains behind bars on no bond before his arraignment.

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