Florida Mother Shot Her 5-month-old Son in Chest; Shot Her Dead at the Spot where Husband Proposed Her; Will Spend Life in Prison

A Florida mother will spend the rest of her life in jail for killing her infant son at the same spot where her husband had proposed to her.

On June 5, an Okaloosa County jury found Maria Rodriguez-Barnes, who is now 35 years old, guilty of first-degree planned murder in the death of her son in 2020.

Rodriguez-Barnes drove her 5-month-old son, Jaxxon Gunner Rodriguez Barnes, to the parking lot of The Boardwalk in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., on March 25, 2020, according to her arrest record.

There, police said she shot her son once in the chest and then shot herself to try to kill herself, but she lived.

Assistant State Attorney Michelle Sandler told the judge in opening comments that Rodriguez-Barnes planned to kill her son when she found out that her husband was going to file for divorce. The lawyer also said that she chose the spot because it was where her husband had asked her to marry him.

In a news release at the time, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office said that Jaxxon was found dead in the back of his mother’s pickup truck by deputies who were called by a crew of workers. Next, they found 5-month-old Jaxxon Rodriguez-Barnes lying on his back on a pillow in the left rear floorboard of the truck.

The sheriff’s office says that deputies found a 9mm handgun, shell casings, and writing notes in her car. In the arrest report, the notes’ facts were left out as per PEOPLE.

In court, Sandler said that Rodriguez-Barnes told her husband, “I’m sorry for what I’m about to do” before the murder. It was also said that she told family members about her plans before the event.

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