Orlando office shooter enters plea, sentenced to 30 years

Instead of arguing his case for a new trial, a man charged with second-degree murder stemming from a 2009 shooting at a Downtown Orlando office building unexpectedly pleaded no-contest on Wednesday.  Jason Rodriguez, who was originally charged with first-degree murder in the death of 26-year-old Otis Beckford, was sentenced to 30 years in state prison under the plea deal.

In 2007, Rodriguez was fired RS&H, an engineering consulting firm.  Prosecutors said Rodriguez became disgruntled and had planned a shooting spree at Orlando's Gateway Center that left Beckford dead and injured five others.  In 2013, a jury found Rodriguez guilty of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted first-degree murder.  A Florida appeals court reversed Rodriguez's conviction in August over improper instruction by then trial Judge Belvin Perry Jr.

"Do you understand the right you are giving away," a judge asked Rodriguez on Wednesday, to which he replied, "Yes, you Honor."    Rodriguez has six years time served and will spend at least 24 years in state prison.