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Archive for Wednesday, June 27, 2001

Lookout convicted in slaying

Jury finds defendant guilty of second-degree murder in death of Amy Watkins

June 27, 2001

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— A Brooklyn man charged with acting as a lookout in the fatal stabbing of aspiring social worker Amy Watkins was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder.

Felix Rodriguez, 21, was found guilty by a jury for his role in the March 8, 1999, killing of Watkins, a Kansas native who moved to New York to pursue her master's degree in social work.

Announcement of the verdict was made in a news release issued by Kings County Dist. Atty. Charles Hynes.

The jury, made up of nine women and three women, deliberated one day before reaching a verdict. The trial lasted for a week.

"The victim in the case was a young woman who was on the path to a career of helping others," Hynes said. "This was a heinous crime."

Hynes said he will recommend the maximum penalty for Rodriguez, who also was convicted of first-degree robbery. He faces 25 years to life in prison when he is sentenced on July 23.

Earlier this month, David Jamison, 28, was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison after his conviction on charges he plunged a kitchen knife into Watkins' back during a robbery that netted $8.

Watkins, 26, was killed as she returned to her home in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. She had hoped to get a job counseling battered women and working with children.

Raised in Topeka, Kan., Watkins graduated from Kansas University and moved to New York in 1997.

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