KEY POINTS

  • The defense attorney claims his client could not have sexually assaulted a woman as she was already dead
  • Wyoming does not have a law explicitly forbidding sexual activity with a corpse but it does consider mutilation of a corpse a crime
  • Prosecutors, however, provided evidence indicating Scott's client was aware his victim was alive at the time of the assault

A defense attorney from Wyoming attempted to have a court drop charges against his client in a murder-rape trial Thursday by arguing that his client could not have sexually assaulted a woman if she was already dead.

Lawyer Marty Scott represents Anthony Rodriguez, a Casper man charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and domestic battery in the Nov. 17, 2019 death of his mother-in-law, Mary Fogle, KTWO reported. Prosecutors accused Rodriguez of brutally beating Fogle and stabbing her to death before sexually assaulting her. 

Scott, however, reportedly told the court, "You cannot sexually assault a corpse," as per KTWO. He added that the state does not have any laws regarding such an act.

Under WY Stat § 6-2-101 (2014), a person commits felony murder if they kill another person while committing sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor, arson, robbery, burglary, escape, resisting arrest, kidnapping or child abuse.

While Wyoming does not have any laws explicitly forbidding sexual activities with a corpse, WY Stat § 6-4-502 (2014) does consider mutilation of a corpse a crime.

In response to his argument, Assistant Natrona County District Attorney Mike Schafer cited statements Rodriguez gave investigators that indicated that Rodriguez believed Fogle was still alive when he sexually assaulted her.

"I did that weird s--t to her," Rodriguez was cited as saying to El Paso County, Colorado, Sheriff's Office Detective John Price in a video shown to jurors Wednesday. Rodriguez pointed out, "She was still alive I think."

Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey dismissed Scott's argument. The charges as they stand are expected to continue on Friday and go to a jury.

Rodriguez reportedly rambled nonsensically when Scott asked him questions Thursday, the fourth day of the trial.

At one point during his testimonies, Rodriguez claimed Schafer looked like his father-in-law but also one of his father-in-law's multiple personalities.

"I don't know if it's the reptilians," Rodriguez said.

Katherine Mahaffey, a psychologist at the Wyoming State Hospital, told jurors that Rodriguez was competent to understand the gravity of his actions and claimed the defendant seemingly exaggerated his psychological symptoms during his evaluation. She concluded that because of that, Rodriguez was criminally responsible for Fogle's death.

law-books-291676_1920 Representation. Wyoming does not have a law explicitly forbidding sexual activity with a corpse but it does have one that considers corpse mutilation as a crime. Photo: Pixabay