Jurors must decide if a teen accused of fatally stabbing a Coral Gables High classmate acted out anger or fear, a prosecutor said Monday.
Andy Rodriguez is accused of killing 17-year-old Juan Carlos Rivera at the high school during a fight in 2009.
Prosecutors alleged Rodriguez was the instigator of the deadly fight and painted the teen as a jealous boyfriend who was mad at a rival.
“This is what you’ll have to decide. Did he do it out of fear or did he do it out of anger?” prosecutor Marie Mato told the jury.
She waved Rivera’s bloody shirt during her closing arguments saying the stabbing was borne of anger not fear.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez's attorneys told jurors their client acted in self-defense and was being choked at the time of the stabbing.
On Friday, attorneys for Rodriguez wrapped up their case, argued to the judge that Rivera had behavior issues and was often confrontational with other students. But the judge wouldn't allow the testimony.
"Juan Carlos Rivera was not he angel they tried to portray," attorney Alexander Michael said after court Friday. "He had issues with behavior.”
Rodriguez is charged with second-degree murder and faces life in prison if convicted.