Judge Michael Hathaway today sentenced Andrew Czarnecki to life + 33 years in prison without the possibility of parole after his conviction of first-degree murder in the 2013 robbery, killing, and burning of Gavino Rodriguez a gay man. Judge Hathaway also sentenced Czarnecki to 11-20 years for armed robbery, and 57 months to 11 years for mutilation of a dead body.
Czarnecki’s co-defendant, Hameer Alkotait, is scheduled for a pre-trial hearing on February 6, 2019, and trial on March 6, 2019.
Rodriguez was last known to be alive July 10, 2013, authorities say. His body was found in southwest Detroit.
In sentencing Czarnecki, Hathaway said it “was pretty obvious that this defendant committed and helped someone else commit along the way an unspeakably … horrible crime, so this is not a verdict or sentence that I have any second thoughts or reservations about at all.”
Fair Michigan Foundation President Dana Nessel, Michigan’s attorney general-elect, said in a statement earlier this month, “This conviction in a cold-case murder of a gay man illustrates the Fair Michigan Justice Project’s resolve, in association with the Prosecutor’s Office, to investigate and vigorously prosecute serious crimes against the LGBT community.”