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CALIFORNIA IN BRIEF : WASCO : Sports Star Accused of Killing Girlfriend

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A high school sports star was accused of murdering his girlfriend after scientists linked pieces of a shrub found in his father’s car to the murder scene. Offord Rollins, 18, faces charges of shooting 17-year-old Maria Madera Rodriguez on Aug. 2. She was also sodomized, according to a sheriff’s report. Rollins is the current state high school triple-jump champion and was expected to be a running back on Wasco High School’s football team this fall. Pieces of tamarisk found in a car owned by Rollins’ father matched plants at the shooting scene in western Kern County, said Sheriff’s Detective Randy Raymond. The feathery-flowered shrub is not found in the Wasco area, where both the victim and Rollins lived, he added. Rollins will be arraigned in Juvenile Court because the killing occurred a few days before his 18th birthday. However, the prosecution is expected to ask that he be tried as an adult. He was called out of a science class and was arrested and handcuffed by detectives.


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