University suspends student accused of killing girlfriend

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Grand Junction Police Department
Oscar Rodriguez

24-year-old Oscar Aaron Rodriguez, a student at Colorado Mesa University, has been suspended from the university pending the outcome of charges against him involving the death of his girlfriend, according to CMU spokesperson Dana Nunn.

Rodriguez is accused of fatally injuring his girlfriend, 21-year-old Morgan Lee Dumas, a former CMU student that was not enrolled in classes at the time of her death, after a drunken fight last week.

Emergency responders were directed to 2858 Hall Ave. on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 9, concerning an unconscious female, later to be identified as Dumas.

According to the Grand Junction Police Department’s arrest affidavit, Rodriguez told officers he had struck Dumas’ head against the ground in two separate incidents during verbal arguments the night before. During the argument, Rodriguez said he knocked Dumas to the ground where proceeded to strike her head against the floor. Rodriguez said Dumas went unconscious and carried her to the sofa and went to bed after checking her pulse.

Rodriguez said after Dumas confronted him again later in the night he shoved her to the floor and once again struck her head against the floor, knocking her unconscious. Rodriguez told the officers that while she was still breathing when he placed her in bed next to him, her breathing was irregular with shallow and rapid breaths. 

When Rodriguez woke in the morning, Dumas was unresponsive. Rodriguez attempted CPR and called 911.

Dumas was transported to St. Mary’s Medical Center and died the next day. Her death was determined a homicide by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.

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Dumas

The GJPD affidavit said Rodriguez expressed remorse and blamed himself for what happened to Dumas.

“Rodriguez described himself as being mean when he was drunk and becoming increasingly agitated and angry with Dumas because he just wanted to go to sleep,” the affidavit said.

A $1 million cash-only bond was set by Mesa County Judge Michael Grattan on Monday afternoon due to concerns that Rodriguez may skip town.

“I and my family fear that if he does bond out, he will run and we will never see him again,” Alden Wayne Dumas, Morgan Lee Dumas’ father, said according to The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

Rodriguez is set to appear before Mesa County District Judge Valerie Robison on Nov. 21 at 8:15 a.m.

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Alec Williams
Alec Williams is a political science major and editor in chief for The Criterion's 2017/2018 academic year. Starting in the spring of 2016, Williams rose from the ranks of a reporter to news editor to managing editor to his current position. Williams was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists 2016 Region 9 Mark of Excellence for his efforts in investigative reporting.

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