A Miami man confessed to killing a woman and setting her mobile home on fire early Saturday after she “disrespectfully” told him in a text message that she had cheated on him with another man, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said.
Yulexis Rodriguez was arrested on charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, armed burglary, first-degree arson and false imprisonment.
Deputies said he choked Lianet Denis and hit her with “an unknown object,” according to the arrest report obtained Monday.
Rodriguez, 40, told investigators he was so upset with Denis that he bought a gas can in Miami, filled it with gas and drove north on Florida’s Turnpike to Palm Beach County, where he confronted her, according to the report.
Deputies were called to a fire at the home on Belvedere Road about 12:45 a.m. When deputies arrived, they found three burning vehicles next to the burning home.
Denis, 22, was pulled from the home by firefighters and pronounced dead at the scene.
Deputies said they detained Rodriguez after they saw him escaping through a broken window in the mobile home.
After the fire was extinguished, deputies found a large amount of blood on the bedroom walls, ceiling and bedsheets inside the home. They also found a bloody hand print and a gardening hoe under the bed.
One of four witnesses told detectives that he heard a loud explosion and saw Rodriguez standing outside the neighboring home holding a red gas can. He said Rodriguez was still pouring gasoline on the burning vehicles and home.
The witness said Rodriguez threw the gas can at him, grabbed a gardening hoe from his pickup truck and tried to hit him with it several times.
Another witness said he was attacked by Rodriguez with the gardening hoe after Rodriguez entered the home. The first witness tried to stop Rodriguez, who grabbed him by the neck and threatened to kill him, the report said.
The witnesses said Denis tried to run outside, but Rodriguez grabbed her by the neck and forced her back inside the burning home. The witnesses said they heard Denis begging Rodriguez to let her go and not to hurt her, but the flames were too intense and they ran to safety.
“I am going to kill you,” the witnesses heard Rodriguez telling Denis, the report said.
One of the witnesses had to be treated at a hospital for injuries suffered during the attack.
During an interview with detectives, Rodriguez said he was upset with Denis after she left him for another man. However, Rodriguez said he was even angrier after she sent him a text message that said, “Are you dumb or something I cheated on you when we lived in Cuba also.”
Investigators said Denis had “extensive facial trauma, head trauma, excessive swelling to the face, head and neck area, coupled with defensive wounds on both her arms.”
Rodriguez was being held without bond at the main Palm Beach County jail.
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