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Man deported in 2002 accused of stabbing ex-girlfriend 19 times

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A Dominican Republic national accused of fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend was forcibly removed from a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday, as prosecutors unveiled grisly new details of the case and disclosed that the suspect had previously been deported in 2002.

Candido Rodriguez, 51, had to be restrained after vehemently claiming his innocence in the murder of 33-year-old Melanie Woods, his on-again, off-again lover.

Prosecutors allege that Rodriguez brutally stabbed Woods in the torso and neck 19 times before abandoning her body in the bathtub of her East Harlem home last month.

Rodriguez, who has a prior criminal record, reportedly inflicted such severe injuries that some wounds penetrated up to six inches deep. The couple had been in a tumultuous relationship since early 2023, but Woods had ended the relationship two weeks before her death.

During his arraignment, a visibly agitated Rodriguez pleaded not guilty to a second-degree murder charge. His disruptive behavior escalated to the point where several court officers had to physically carry him out of the courtroom after he dropped to the floor in protest.

Further complicating Rodriguez’s legal troubles is his history with U.S. immigration authorities. He was previously involved in a federal conspiracy to distribute narcotics case from 1999 to 2002, which led to his deportation in 2002.

Additionally, Rodriguez has used multiple aliases in past encounters with law enforcement.

Rodriguez’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 16. As the case unfolds, it continues to draw significant attention due to the brutal nature of the crime and Rodriguez’s contentious courtroom conduct.

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