Fort Worth

Woman gets life sentence in Fort Worth toilet-tank-lid slaying

Eunice Cristina Rodriguez, 40, of Anthony, was convicted of murder Monday for her role in the murder of Tommy Brown, a 51-year-old Fort Worth man. Braylon Ellis, 28, of Garland, was also convicted in Brown’s murder.
Eunice Cristina Rodriguez, 40, of Anthony, was convicted of murder Monday for her role in the murder of Tommy Brown, a 51-year-old Fort Worth man. Braylon Ellis, 28, of Garland, was also convicted in Brown’s murder.

A woman who talked her new boyfriend into robbing her old boyfriend and then using a toilet-tank lid to kill him has been sentenced to life in prison.

Eunice Cristina Rodriguez, 40, will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years, prosecutors said.

Her co-defendant, Braylon Dominique Ellis, 28, received an identical sentence in March.

Both were convicted in the murder of Tommy Brown, 51, of Fort Worth. Rodriguez told both men she was pregnant with his child.

“Eunice Rodriguez is a master manipulator,” said Bill Vassar, who prosecuted the case with Katie Heflin. “Whether it was lying about being a nurse, at least two pregnancies, or lying about being a victim of domestic violence, she was always out to take advantage of people.”

Brown’s sister found his body Sept. 7, 2013, in his home in the 2400 block of Rattikin Road in east Fort Worth. She told police she found Brown facedown in a hallway with his hands tied behind his back and his head covered by a white bag. Blood stained the hall walls outside the bathroom, and two sets of bloody shoe prints were on the kitchen floor.

Brown’s television, wallet and Toyota pickup were missing.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Brown had been dead for two days and that the cause of death was asphyxia and blunt-force injuries.

After killing Brown, Rodriguez and Ellis emptied Brown’s bank account, Vassar said.

Tom O’Brien, a Fort Worth police detective, helped track down the suspects through their use of Brown’s debit card, Vassar said.

It’s estimated the suspects got less than $200 as a result of the murder, he said.

The couple were arrested in Gwinnett County, Ga., on Sept. 10, 2013.

“Her right thumbprint was found on the victim’s cell when they were arrested in Georgia,” Vassar said of Brown’s cellphone. “We believe she was texting people, acting as though he was still alive.”

This report includes material from the Star-Telegram archives.

Mitch Mitchell: 817-390-7752, @mitchmitchel3

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