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Suspect in soccer player killing recently released from jail

January 18, 2012 |  8:17 am

Suspects charged with soccer player killing

A 19-year-old woman arrested with a Calabasas man in the shooting death of El Camino Real High School goalie Francisco Rodriguez Jr. was recently released from L.A. County jail after serving part of a six-month forgery sentence.

Elizabeth Ibarra, of Calabasas, was sentenced to six months in jail  Nov. 17 after pleading guilty to two felony counts of forgery, according to prosecutors and records. She had been in custody since her arrest Oct. 31.

Ibarra was released Jan. 4 from the Century Regional Detention Facility, a week before the fatal Jan. 11 shooting, according to Sheriff's Department booking records. Because of jail overcrowding, female inmates typically serve 20% of their sentences.

PHOTOS: Teen killed in Winnetka

Ibarra and 24-year-old Jason Schumann were booked on suspicion of murder. Ibarra also has convictions for identity theft and assault on a police officer.

Law enforcement sources say 17-year-old Rodriguez may have been targeted over a romantic rivalry. He had just gotten home from a soccer game when a mysterious redhead knocked on the front door of his Winnetka home and persuaded him to come outside.

Rodriguez told his family he was stepping out and was almost immediately shot by a man in a waiting SUV.

"We don't believe it is gang-related....We believe it is personally motivated," said LAPD Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas at a news conference Tuesday.

Detectives believe Rodriguez may have been fatally shot over a romantic relationship, sources told The Times. The popular student had no gang ties but may have been involved with a woman with a jealous male friend, sources said. They provided no additional details.

Rodriguez died at Northridge Hospital Medical Center of multiple gunshot wounds.

Within hours of the slaying, Rodriguez's teammates and coaches were at his home, calling upon the community to help track down the killers.

A 15-member LAPD task force made the arrests Monday night after tracking down a green Ford Explorer that witnesses saw fleeing the shooting scene.

Family members said they did not recognize the woman, who had red hair. Police said Tuesday that Ibarra is not a natural redhead, and authorities believe she dyed her hair to throw off witnesses and authorities.

An anonymous tip helped authorities make the arrest, police said. But they are asking the tipster to contact them to help confirm the motives in the case.

Classmates described Rodriguez as popular and outgoing. On the night he died, Rodriguez made several saves in a game against Taft High School.

This week against Cleveland High, the team began the game by leaving the position between the goal posts open in Rodriguez's honor.

RELATED:

Two arrested in slaying of high school soccer player

Slain high school soccer player looked 'scared,' sister says

Students grieve over slaying of El Camino High soccer player

-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Police announced the arrests of Elizabeth Ibarra and Jason Schumann in the slaying of high school soccer player Francisco Rodriguez Jr. Credit: Richard Winton / Los Angeles Times

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