Suspect arrested in New Britain cold case beating - CBS 5 - KPHO

Suspect arrested in New Britain cold case beating

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Alexis Rodriguez was arrested a few days after the incident on an unrelated crime. (Department of Corrections photo) Alexis Rodriguez was arrested a few days after the incident on an unrelated crime. (Department of Corrections photo)
Alexis Rodriguez's booking photo from 2012. (New Britain police photo) Alexis Rodriguez's booking photo from 2012. (New Britain police photo)
James Joseph, Sr. was killed in 2012, according to police. (Family photo) James Joseph, Sr. was killed in 2012, according to police. (Family photo)
NEW BRITAIN, CT (WFSB) -

A man will be charged in connection with the 2012 beating death of a 70-year-old man in New Britain, police said.

Alexis Rodriguez, 32, was identified as the suspect in the murder of James Joseph Sr., according to investigators.

Those who knew Joseph hope the arrest brings some closure to family and friends.

"He was such a noble person," said Kenwal Preet Singh, a friend of Joseph's and owner of a nearby gas station. "Nice, very kind."

Rodriguez used to date Joseph's daughter, police said, and was arrested on an unrelated warrant days after the incident. He was still in the custody of the Department of Corrections as of Tuesday.

Investigators said Rodriguez and Joseph's daughter also have a child together.

On Feb. 28, police said they obtained an additional arrest warrant. In the coming days, Rodriguez will be brought from the department to New Britain where he'll be charged with murder and tampering with physical evidence in the death of Joseph.

"Immediately after we identified him as a suspect, we arrested him for an unrelated incident," said Lt. Jeanette Portalin. "Held in jail from that time and recently we developed enough information and probable cause to make an arrest."

His bond was set at $1 million.

Police said the crime happened May 14, 2012.

Joseph was found to have severe head injuries inside his home on South Main Street. The initial call came in as a possible robbery with a man down.

The victim was last seen on surveillance cameras at the gas station where Preet Singh worked.

"Mr. Joseph was such a nice person," he said. "Known him for years and years. His kids and wife too. They were so nice to us. Nice family and I'm so glad, so happy, he got caught."

Joseph died four days after the attack, according to police.

"I think it's about time they got him," said Judy Klopp, who used to look after the child. "I'm very happy for the family. Now they have closure. I do feel very sad for the mom and little girl. She won't have a dad."

Investigators learned that he'd been struck in the head with a blunt object multiple times. He also sustained a broken neck and spinal damage. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner classified the death as a homicide.

Over the last two years, the gas station Joseph used to frequent never took down a reward poster.

"He was such a noble person. Nice, very kind," said Preet Singh. "If needed money or help, he was always there for me. When I came here, he helped me a lot mentally and physically. He was such a nice person."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the New Britain Police Department at 860-826-3134 or 860-826-3120.

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