The man accused of killing 19-year-old Melissa Rodriguez has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of first-degree murder. Nineteen-year-old Mikael Loyd's case was sent to district court Tuesday as new details of Melissa's death began to emerge.
The case came to light when a body turned up in a newly-dug grave at Graceland Cemetery near 42nd and L streets on August 15th. Authorities determined the body was that of Ms. Rodriguez, who had been involved in a relationship with Loyd and he was arrested a short time later.
At his preliminary hearing on Tuesday, testimony detailed some of the information he had given to police during interviews after he as taken into custody. According to that testimony, Loyd said he had strangled Rodriquez; choking her three times before she eventually passed out and died. Loyd admitted to dragging her body to the grave site and dumping it into the open earth.
Police interviews indicate that Loyd said Rodriguez reminded him of his mother and he was angry at his mother because he thought she had arranged to kill his father in 1995. According to Channel 6 News archives, Mikael's father, Michael Loyd, was killed at the age of 18. It happened on his front porch on 41st and Corby on October 26, 1995. Mikael was approximately 18 months old at the time. The death was ruled a homicide.
Shortly before Rodriguez was killed, Mikael had been checked into Lasting Hope Recovery Center, but according to the testimony of a detective involved in the interviews after Loyd's arrest, Loyd said, "I told the doctor (at Lasting Hope) what I needed to get out."
During his attorney's arguments at the preliminary hearing, Loyd had a courtroom outburst chanting,"Guilty! Guilty!" He was quieted as the defense pushed unsuccessfully for a second-degree murder charge.