Louisville photographer denied shock probation for now
LOUISIVLLE, KY (WAVE) - He was hired to capture the most important moments of people's lives. Instead, Ramon Rodriguez ripped them off and left town.
Rodriguez, a Louisville photographer, was back in front of a judge on Tuesday with a special request. Rodriguez's attorney asked for shock probation. While the prosecutor seemed okay with that idea, the judge wasn't having it.
"I cringed when I heard his name," said Adam Nelson, former client of Rodriguez. "How could someone steal from me?"
Nelson gave Rodriguez a $500 deposit to shoot his wedding in 2009. When Rodriguez fled Louisville for Canada, a Good Samaritan photographer stepped up and agreed to photograph Nelson's wedding.
Many of Rodriguez's clients were robbed of their money, wedding photos, and memories. According to Brian Butler, Rodriguez's attorney, his client does realize what he did and that's why he turned himself in.
"If he wasn't remorseful he'd still be in Canada today and Ramon Rodriguez would have never come back to Louisville, Kentucky," said Butler.
After skipping town for three years, Rodriguez surrendered at the border and was picked up by authorities in New York in January. He's been behind bars since then and he's ready to get out of jail. Butler asked Judge Barry Willett to grant him shock probation.
"Mr. Rodriguez, forgive my cynicism, but you are a con man and thief," said Willett. "If you are going make a promise to make some people whole, I want to be able to hold your feet to the fire to do that."
Butler said one of Rodriguez's former employees who was in court on Tuesday plans to try to find a way to get those photos. In the meantime, Rodriguez will stay behind bars.
Nelson says although he's doubtful he will ever see his money, he is finding a way to forgive.
"People make mistakes," said Nelson. "Hopefully he's learned from what he did and try to fix it."
Part of the agreement when Rodriguez turned himself in, he agreed to pay restitution to his victims. He owes a total of $27,000. He's already paid back $2,500.
Rodriguez will be back in court July 25 and Willett will decide if he will grant shock probation. He also has until then to seek out former employees that may have photos of previous clients to return to them.
Rodriguez is serving out a 16 year sentence.
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