INDICTMENT: Nederland man linked to death of woman who fell from truck in Port Arthur

Published 3:45 pm Wednesday, December 8, 2021

A Nederland man was indicted on a charge of manslaughter in a case where a woman died after possibly being thrown from a vehicle.

Lonnie Rodgers, 48, was indicted on Wednesday following the Oct. 15 death of Madison Martinez, 27.

According to a court document, Martinez was in the company of Rodgers and another man on Oct. 15. Security video reportedly shows a red Dodge truck leaving quickly from the Fuel Depot parking lot in the 3700 block of Lake Arthur Drive.

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The video shows Martinez come out of or off the driver side of the truck onto the roadway. Another video reportedly showed how fast Rodgers accelerated and has audio.

Rodgers later made a statement, the document read, saying he was driving the truck and Martinez was standing at his window when he drove off.

A witness saw the woman and another person or persons were having an argument before Martinez was pushed to the ground and the truck attempted to pull off, it just jerked forward but stopped.

This was because Martinez jumped back towards the driver’s side of the truck.

Rodgers made a statement saying there was something in the truck she was fighting for.

The truck took off very fast and the witness saw Martinez come off the driver side of the truck, the document read.

The witness was asked if they could tell if there was force being used from within the truck towards Martinez that would cause her to fall, and he said definitely.

Port Arthur police were called to scene where the woman was located in the westbound lane at the intersection of Lake Arthur Drive and Ninth Avenue. She had a head injury and was brought to Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth in Beaumont, where she died the next day.

An warrant was issued for the arrest of Rodgers and he turned him self in to law enforcement.

He remains in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility on a $500,000 bond for the charge of manslaughter.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.