VICTORVILLE – An Adelanto man who slammed his vehicle into a Barstow man, pinning him against another vehicle last year leading to his death was sentenced on Friday to 25 years to life in prison.
On Monday, May 15, 2017, at around 12:53 p.m. Bennett Warner, 40, of Barstow, was riding his bicycle when he was struck by 23-year-old Raymundo Alberto Rodriguez-Cordova in the 1000 block of East Main Street. The reporting party indicated that the Bennett had been struck by a vehicle which then fled the scene. Deputies and emergency medical personnel arrived to find Bennett suffering from extensive injuries. Bennett was rushed to Barstow Community Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.
Through investigation, it was learned that the two had been involved in a verbal altercation shortly before the collision as Bennett was riding his bike westbound on Main Street. Rodriguez-Cordova followed Bennett into a parking lot, where he accelerated the vehicle and rammed into Warner. He then fled the scene. The driver Video surveillance and testimony presented at trial determined Rodriguez-Cordova accelerated his vehicle, and intentionally rammed Warner with his pick-up truck, pinning him into a parked vehicle.
The unoccupied pickup truck, matching the suspect vehicle description, which belonged to Rodriguez-Cordova was located on Wednesday, May 17, 2018, at around 10:30 a.m. in a desert area near Stringham Park in the 1600 block of Rimrock Road. The vehicle was confirmed to be the suspect vehicle, but suspect Rodriguez-Cordova was nowhere to be found. The following afternoon, a citizen reported seeing a person matching the suspect description at a business located in the 25000 block of West Main Street. Authorities responded to the scene and Rodriguez-Cordova was arrested for the murder of Bennett.
A jury found Rodriguez-Cordova guilty of the murder at the Victorville Superior Court in November 2017, and he now will spend 25 years to life in prison. Vickie Turman, the mother of Bennett Warner was able to present a victim impact statement to the court prior to the Friday afternoon sentencing.
Let me start with, I don’t think a parent should outlive any of their children. In 2017, you took my only son. He was 40 years old. My son Bennett… had a heart of gold. If he liked you, he would do anything for you. When he would call me, when I answered the phone, he would say, “Hello Mother.” I will never hear him say those words again. My son liked everyone he met and tried to help everyone he met. When I first heard my son was killed, I wanted to hate you, but I can’t. To hate someone takes a lot of work. I don’t think you are worth it. My wish is that for the rest of your life, however long that may be, that you have to think about what you did to my son. I wonder if now, or if ever, you will feel remorse for what you did… I feel bad for your family, because in a sense they too have lost a son. The big difference is they can talk to you on the phone or visit you in prison. When I talk to my son or visit, he is in a box. No matter what he did, or what you think he did, my son did not deserve what you did to him. You killed part of my very soul when you killed him. Rest in peace my precious son, Bennett. I love you.
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