LUBBOCK, Texas — A man who was initially indicted for Capital Murder, David Hampton, 57, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to a lesser murder charge in the 2019 death of Celestino Rodriguez, 79.

Authorities previously said Rodriguez was reported missing by his family on August 3. A Silver Alert was issued a couple days later, then canceled after his unoccupied car was found near Temple, Texas. A shoe and a cane were found in the vehicle, court documents stated.

According to an arrest warrant, it all started with a plan to rob Rodriguez of his government check and his car. Court documents said Heather Casias recruited Hampton to help with the robbery. Court records stated Casias lured Rodriguez to a preplanned location, and watched Hampton and Brett Garza assault him until he was unresponsive.

Police said a man named Toby Daughtry was seen walking along a highway in Milam County on August 8. According to court records, the warrant said Daughtry told someone the car was stolen, and he got it from someone who had beaten up an old man. Court records stated Daughtry and Amanda Blagburn drove the car around Milano, Texas, until Hampton told her to get rid of the car because “it was involved in something bad.”

“[Daughtry] stated Hampton told him they had beaten an old man and left him in the country outside of Lubbock and taken the car.”


Police later found Rodriguez’s body in a field northwest of Abernathy. A total of six people faced charges in connection with his death. Authorities said Hampton, Casias and Garza were charged with murder. Daughtry and Blagburn were charged with Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle. Freddie Salinas and James Anderson were charged with tampering with evidence.

Hampton’s trial in 2022 ended with a mistrial after witnesses for the government made multiple prohibited statements about Hampton’s prior criminal history. He will be sentenced at a later date. He faces a punishment ranging from five years to life in prison.

A map of all the relationships and connections, by Samantha Jarpe.
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The statuses of other cases were not immediately available.

The following are story links to previous coverage on

CPS takes custody of child from woman charged with murder of Celestino Rodriguez – August 21

LPD says Heather Casias arrested – August 19

Police arrest man wanted in connection with Rodriguez murder – August 19

Two more arrest warrants issued in connection to the death of Celestino Rodriguez – August 19

LPD asking for public’s help to locate Heather Casias – August 17

Body of Celestino Rodriguez positively identified – August 16

Brett Garza arrested in Central Lubbock Thursday night in connection with Celestino Rodriguez case – August 15

Hampton arrested, related to missing man – August 15

Missing man, age 79, was beat up and left in a field, new court records reveal – August 15

Second person arrested in connection with the disappearance of Celestino Rodriguez – August 14

LPD arrests a suspect related to disappearance of Slaton man – August 14

Police now seeking one more individual as person of interest in Celestino Rodriguez case – August 13

LPD: Felony arrest warrants issued in connection with the disappearance of Celestino Rodriguez – August 10

Lubbock Police name ‘persons of interest’ in missing Slaton man case – August 9

Silver Alert called off for missing elderly man after his vehicle was located in Temple – August 8

Silver Alert for missing Slaton man, age 79 – August 5