By Alexis Sykes

Rafael Garcia Rodriguez and McKynzie Kelley of Jacksonville were arrested in Daytona recently after a shooting outside of a bar.  Garcia Rodriguez and Kelley were involved in a domestic dispute when the alleged Victim approached Kelley to see if she was ok.  Garcia Rodriguez then opened fire shooting at the Victim multiple times.  The Victim survived the shooting and both suspects fled the scene.  Eventually, both were arrested after a car pursuit where Kelley was apprehended as the last driver of the vehicle.  At one point in the chase, the vehicle slowed while Garcia Rodriguez fled and was caught on foot, but Kelley continued going until police flattened her tires with stop sticks.

Rafael Garcia Rodriguez and McKynzie Kelley of Jacksonville were arrested in Daytona recently after a shooting outside of a bar


Kelley has been charged with attempted felony murder as a codefendant with Garcia Rodriguez but she may have defenses available to her.  To prove attempted felony murder on Kelley, prosecutors would have to show that Kelley was either 1) an active participant in this sudden shooting or 2) that she was engaged in some sort of felony with Garcia Rodriguez at the time of the shooting.  First, it will be hard to prove that she was a knowing and active participant to an attempted murder that Garcia Rodriguez perpetrated against another individual seemingly without justification or provocation.  There is no indication from the currently available facts that Kelley participated in any planning or encouragement of this sudden shooting.  In fact, the evidence appears to show that Garcia Rodriguez acted on his own during the shooting.  Second, there is no indication that Kelley was involved in some sort of felony such as robbery or burglary at the time of the shooting. Therefore, prosecutors will have difficulty proving attempted felony murder where there is no evidence of an underlying felony taking place at the time of the shooting.


Kelley could still be charged as an accessory after the fact and for fleeing from police.  She did help him flee the scene after the shooting.  However, she may have a defense to these actions such as battered woman’s syndrome or duress. An investigation and expert evaluation would need to be done to find out if Kelley was a victim of domestic violence in which case, she may be able to have expert testimony explain why she took such actions out of ongoing fear of her boyfriend.  She may also be able to use a defense of duress by arguing she was forced to leave the scene with Garcia Rodriguez out of fear for her own life by a man who was armed with a firearm and just shot at another person.  Even if these defenses do not exonerate her, they can certainly be considered as mitigation to reduce her sentence.  She can also help police and prosecutors now that she is away from Garcia Rodriguez by providing testimony against him in exchange for a reduced sentence.

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