Some members of Ashley Rodriguez's family say they learned for the first time at the preliminary hearing for Adan Rodriguez on Wednesday that Ashley's four children were in the car watching cartoons when their mother was shot.
Emotions ran high at the hearing.
"I hope he never gets to see the sunshine again," said Norma Griffith, aunt of murder victim Ashley Rodriguez. "[Ashley] can't."
A lieutenant for the Alleghany Sheriff's Office detailed the events leading up to Ashley's murder on Mother's Day of this year.
On Friday, May 10, Rodriguez says he got into an argument with this wife, and Ashley took the kids from their house and left.
He says the next morning, they met at the cemetery in Alleghany County where he worked. He says he struck her in the shoulder and grabbed her by the head.
He also accused her of cheating on him with another man. He said he looked through her text messages and pretended to be her to talk to this man.
Sunday, Rodriguez purchased a box of 12-gauge shells for his shotgun at Walmart. Rodriguez says he bought them to go hunting.
Rodriguez then claims the couple got into a third and final altercation at the cemetery. Rodriguez said he had to go do payroll and Ashley grabbed the gun, and it went off.
Ashley's aunt doesn't believe his story. She says the community has really come together to support the family.
"It was awful, absolutely awful," Griffith says. "We still can't believe it. It's a nightmare."
Rodriguez's gun and truck were later found in Charlotte, N.C. The items were hidden near Rodriguez's brother's apartment complex, near a playground and a laundromat.
Rodriguez's attorney asked for premeditation to be struck from his charges, but the judge denied the motion. The judge says there's substantial evidence to support the first degree murder charge.
Rodriguez will face a grand jury in October, but for now this family continues to mourn the loss of a mother, daughter, and niece.