A Jefferson Parish judge on Tuesday (May 16) sentenced Kenny Rojas to spend the rest of his life in prison for his conviction of shooting his estranged girlfriend in the chest and fleeing, leaving her to die with their three young children.
Rojas, 38, was convicted as charged Thursday of second-degree murder for killing Lizeth Maldonado, 32, in their home in the 1200 block of Angus Drive in Harvey, on Feb. 27, 2022. He also was convicted of obstruction of justice, for getting rid of the revolver he used to kill her.
Amid an argument over infidelity, Rojas pressed a revolver to Maldonado’s left breast and fired once. Their 12-year-old daughter heard the gunshots, went to her parents’ bedroom and saw her father shooting her mother. “He killed me,” the child heard her mother said.
Rojas fled, leaving behind his daughter and sons, ages seven and eight. His daughter called 911, whose operator instructed the child on life-saving measures until deputies arrived minutes later. Maldonado died on the floor of her bedroom.
Rojas surrendered to the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office about six hours later. At trial, he asserted he was trying to prevent Maldonado from shooting herself, and during the struggle over the revolver, it fired.
After denying a defense request for a new trial, 24th Judicial District Judge Nancy Miller noted Rojas’ trial testimony, in which he said his children lied. “You abandoned them as you abandoned your wife as she lay there bleeding on the floor,” she told Rojas.
For second-degree murder, she sentenced Rojas to the mandatory life sentence in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. Judge Miller also sentenced Rojas to the maximum 40 years for obstruction of justice. She ran the sentences concurrently.
Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Leo Aaron prosecuted the case.