ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Instead of arguing his case for a new trial, a man charged with second-degree murder stemming from a 2009 shooting at a Downtown Orlando office building unexpectedly pleaded no-contest on Wednesday. Jason Rodriguez, who was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Otis Beckford, was sentenced to 30 years in state prison under the plea deal.
In 2007, Rodriguez was fired RS&H, an engineering consulting firm. Prosecutors said Rodriguez became disgruntled and had planned a shooting spree at Orlando's Gateway Center that left Beckford dead and injured five others. In 2013, a jury found Rodriguez guilty of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder. A Florida appeals court reversed Rodriguez's conviction in August over improper instruction by then trial Judge Belvin Perry Jr.
"Do you understand the right you are giving away," a judge asked Rodriguez on Wednesday, to which he replied, "Yes, you Honor." Rodriguez has six years time served and will spend at least 24 years in state prison.