Defendant In Casper Murder-Rape Trial Gives Bizarre Testimony
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: The below story contains a description of a November 2019 murder-rape in Casper. Discretion is strongly advised.
A Casper man accused of brutally beating, stabbing and then sexually assaulting his mother-in-law gave unusual testimony during his jury trial on Thursday.
Anthony Rodriguez is charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and domestic battery in the November 17, 2019 death of Mary Fogle. Prosecutors rested their case during the fourth day of the trial Thursday afternoon.
Rodriguez has pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental illness to the charges.
After conferring with his attorney, Marty Scott, Rodriguez took the stand.
During his testimony Thursday, Rodriguez claimed that his father-in-law took part in a "sex cult" in Colorado that produced incestual pornographic videos. Rodriguez said the cult was called the "King's Club."
Rodriguez often rambled nonsensically when Scott asked him questions.
For example, when Scott asked Rodriguez about a car crashing into his yard shortly after moving to Casper in September 2019, Rodriguez insisted that it was his father-in-law behind the wheel. Additionally, Rodriguez claimed that his father-in-law would come to Casper to stalk him.
At one point during his testimony, Rodriguez claimed that Assistant Natrona County District Attorney Mike Schafer looked like his father-in-law and was in fact one of his father-in-law's multiple personalities.
"I don't know if it's the reptilians," Rodriguez said.
When asked about the events leading up to the fatal stabbing, Rodriguez said he and Mary Fogle had been arguing and that Fogle threatened him with a pizza cutter. Rodriguez said his confrontations with his mother-in-law were the result of "them" trying to "put the spirit in me."
Rodriguez claimed that Fogle refused to give him pizza in the hours leading up to the murder and berated him when he tried to enter the kitchen.
According to his testimony, Rodriguez only struck Fogle three times. He also denied stabbing her and claimed that a relative must have visited the crime scene after he fled to Colorado and inflicted the injuries on Fogle.
While at an El Paso County Sheriff's Office facility in Colorado Springs, Rodriguez claimed that he saw his wife through the walls of his interview room. Specifically, Rodriguez said he could see his wife performing sex acts on sheriff's deputies.
"That's one of (my father-in-law's) dudes," Rodriguez said, adding that they were part of the "King's Club."
Natrona County District Attorney Dan Itzen, who repeatedly stood to raise objections to Rodriguez's testimony, dismissed Rodriguez's claims as theater.
"He's attempting to justify his (not guilty by reason of mental illness plea) by these outbursts," Itzen said. "He should play by the rules like everybody else.
"I feel a jumping jack making these objections."
A psychologist at the Wyoming State Hospital testified earlier Thursday that Rodriguez seemingly exaggerated his psychological symptoms during his evaluation process.
Dr. Katherine Mahaffey told jurors that Rodriguez was competent to understand the gravity of his actions when he allegedly brutally beat and stabbed Mary Fogle to death on November 17, 2019. Therefore, he is criminally responsible.
Itzen said that if Rodriguez continued his conduct, he would ask for a mistrial.
Natrona County District Court Judge Daniel Forgey admonished Rodriguez for his conduct.
"I need you to listen to me. I've allowed you to go beyond what you've been asked. I need you to understand we have a process," Forgey said. "If you don't follow the rules, you might not be able to tell what you want to tell.
"You also have to consider the optics with an audience here."
The trial will continue Friday morning.