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Jury begins deliberations in murder of Nellis AFB airman

LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) - The fate of a man accused of killing a Nellis Air Force Base airman is in the hands of the jury.

The prosecution and defense delivered closing arguments Thursday in the trial of Michael Rodriguez, 36, who is accused of killing Staff Sgt. Nathan Paet five years ago in southwest Las Vegas.

Prosecutor Pam Weckerly says the verdict should be clear - Rodriguez is guilty of killing the 28-year-old father inside his own garage in December 2010.

"He was willing to kill someone he didn't know.because the price was right," she said.

Police say Rodriguez did not act alone, conspiring with the victim's own wife, Michelle, Corry Hawkins and Jessica Austin. It was a plan, Weckerly says, that came together over time.

"He and Michelle Paet talked about this for 6 months," Weckerly said.

Defense attorney Monica Trujillo says the state has simply not proven its case, telling jurors that Rodriguez was high, light headed and confused the night Paet was killed.

"There's no evidence Michael is the shooter," she said. "He did not have the capacity to form intent."
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