Orange County District Attorney Press Release
For Immediate Release, Case # 02HF1729: February 25, 2014
SANTA ANA – A man was convicted today of shooting and killing his friend while stopped at an intersection in Irvine. David Benjamin Rodgers, 48, Lancaster, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of voluntary manslaughter.
The defendant has prior convictions for false imprisonment in 1989 and sexual assault of a minor in 1990 and faces a sentence ranging from 31 to 36 years to life in state prison if convicted of the prior strike offenses. The Court will hold a bifurcated trial on the defendant’s prior convictions March 21, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-35, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 11:00 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2002, Rodgers was driving his car with his friend, 44-year-old Jeanie Lynn Waterson, in the passenger’s seat. Rodgers stopped his car at the intersection of Sand Canyon Avenue and Alton Parkway in Irvine. While stopped at the intersection, Rodgers fired a total of five shots. He first fired one shot through the windshield of the car. Rodgers then killed Waterson by firing another shot, which entered and exited her left arm, then went through her heart and right lung. The defendant then fired several more shots, two additional shots through the windshield and one through his own right foot. The car then rolled through the intersection into an open field.
Witnesses contacted police and the Irvine Police Department arrived at the scene. Rodgers waited approximately 14 minutes before he surrendered. Waterson was pronounced dead at the scene.
This case was initially tried in 2005 and resulted in a guilty verdict for second degree murder, but was later overturned on appeal. The case was then retried in 2009, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict and the case resulted in a mistrial.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff