Man pleads to Johnston killings, gets 4 life terms

Isaiah Perez

A 28-year-old man on Thursday was sentenced to four life terms plus 50 years in prison after admitting killing his ex-girlfriend and her adult daughter, then kidnapping her 2-year-old son.

The case drew national attention when authorities issued a nationwide Amber Alert for 2-year-old Isaiah Perez, who was found unharmed wandering alone in a diaper in a Providence neighborhood.

Daniel Rodriguez acknowledged sneaking into the Johnston home of his ex-girlfriend, Evelyn Burgos, 40, around 4 a.m. on Aug. 11, then confronting and shooting her and her daughter, Vanessa Perez, 25, in a child's bedroom. He then fled with Isaiah, leaving behind Burgos's other son, age 8, and Perez's 3-year-old daughter.

Rodriguez was arrested after his uncle, a Providence police officer, tracked him down and confronted him, prosecutor Joseph McBurney said in court.

Rodriguez pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, one count of kidnapping and multiple weapons charges. Superior Court Judge Robert Krause immediately sentenced him to two life terms to be served concurrently, followed consecutively by two more concurrent life terms, followed by a consecutive term of 50 years for the kidnapping.

Rodriguez did not make a statement in court and said little other than his plea of guilty.

But Burgos's 21-year-old daughter, Cynthia Luciano, prepared a statement. She broke down into tears as she began to read it, and prosecutor Jay Sullivan stepped in to read it for her.

"On Aug. 11, 2013, my life, my world was taken from me. Physically and emotionally, I am no longer me," Luciano's statement read. "At the age of 20, I had to plan a burial service on my own, not only for one important woman in my life, but two. The hardest thing I ever had to do. ... My mother won't be there for my wedding, my first born."

Luciano said she had been forced to move from their home in Johnston because she could not afford to maintain it. She said she has gotten a full-time job and is taking parenting classes so that she can adopt her brothers, who currently are in foster care with other relatives.

Rodriguez appeared to listen closely to the statement, but showed no emotion. He was led away in handcuffs.