MERIDEN — A Taco Bell wrapper found at the scene of a murder last year helped lead police to a suspect, according to an arrest warrant released Friday.
Trevor Outlaw, 33, of 98 Horton Ave., was taken into custody earlier this month on five counts of failure to appear in court on weapons, drug and assault charges. On Feb. 19 Outlaw was charged with murder. He is currently held on a total of $2.9 million bond and is due back in court on March 10.
Giovanni Rodriguez, 24, died of a gunshot wound to the chest outside the Comfort Inn, 900 East Main St. in the early morning of June 21, 2020. At the scene of the murder police found a Taco Bell food wrapper and a beverage can, which both had DNA evidence, according to Outlaw’s arrest warrant. The Taco Bell wrapper was sent to the state forensics laboratory and determined to have Outlaw’s DNA. The beverage can was determined to have the DNA of Cheensia Rivera, the warrant said. She was previously charged with hindering prosecution.
Police viewed security footage from the hotel. The footage showed a vehicle parked in the hotel parking lot. A woman, later identified as Rivera, and a man, later identified as Outlaw, were seen getting in and out of the vehicle. The Taco Bell wrapper is seen falling from Outlaw’s lap as he got out of the car and Rivera is seen leaving the beverage can on the ground by the car, the warrant said. Rodriguez arrived at the hotel with a woman and stayed in the car while she went inside to book a room.
Police determined Rivera was on the phone with another person inside the hotel and appeared to be waiting for Rodriguez to park his vehicle. Rivera was driving and Outlaw was in the front passenger seat of their vehicle, the warrant said. After Rodriguez parked, Rivera drove past his vehicle and a muzzle flash from the front passenger window was seen on the security footage, the warrant said.
Rivera’s vehicle is then seen leaving the hotel parking lot quickly. Police noted Outlaw is a known Blood gang member and Rodriguez was identified as a leader of the Crips gang.
“Over the past several months there has been an increase in shooting incidents between Blood and Crip gang members making this a possible motive for this homicide,” the warrant stated.
Outlaw is a convicted felon and prohibited from possessing a firearm. On Feb. 15 Outlaw was taken into custody by a bail bonds person and brought to the police station. He declined to be interviewed about the homicide without his attorney, the warrant noted. Police obtained a warrant for a DNA sample from Outlaw.