An Orange County jury has convicted an Orlando man after evidence showed he killed a Burger King employee who had gotten into a dispute with his girlfriend about her order being filled too slowly in the drive-thru line.
On Friday, Nov. 17, jurors found Kelvis Rodriguez-Tomes, 41, guilty of manslaughter after the Aug. 1, 2020, fatal shooting of Desmond Joshua, a 22-year-old fast-food worker. They also found him guilty of tampering with physical evidence and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
According to a witness, the man’s girlfriend, Ashley Mason, was upset because the drive-thru was backed up, which yielded an unusually long wait for those seeking to grab a bite to eat. She was waiting with her 13-year-old daughter, court documents report.
Mason got out of her car at the drive-thru window and started making a scene because of her wait, banging on the window and promising that she would have “her man” show up. The daughter also threw a drink at the window. Mason was refunded $40 and asked to leave. When she left, she returned armed with a weapon and with Rodriguez, who was ready to fight.
Initially, Rodriguez-Tomes called Joshua out to the parking lot for a fight.
“As the fight was broken up, she said Kelvis Rodriguez said, ‘Give me the fire,’ and she handed the handgun to him,” the arrest report stated, according to Investigation Discovery.
Witnesses said Mason pulled the firearm out and aimed it at the two before she slipped it to her boyfriend, who shot Joshua from the truck.
After shooting Joshua, Rodriguez-Tomes and Mason drove off.
Deputies with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene in response to a report of a shooting, the affidavit says.
According to an affidavit, when the OCSO deputies arrived, the members found the victim “on his back in the parking lot suffering from a single gunshot wound to the chest.”
Joshua would die later at the hospital from his injuries. The young man was only employed at Burger King two days before he was shot.
“He was loved,” Joshua’s friend Tammi Tillman-Edwards said according to WESH 2.
Adding, “Burger King was a stepping stone for him to move on to bigger things and to see his life just get cut down at 22. No parent should have to bury their child, period, but especially over some foolishness like this. Over a sandwich.”
Police said Mason was nervous after the shooting transpired.
“She said she got scared and went home to decide her next actions,” the report continues. “She noted Kelvis Rodriguez returned home shortly after and stated, ‘I messed up.’”
Mason was also arrested for Joshua’s slaying three days later. Both Mason and Rodriguez were then held without bond.
She originally faced charges of principal to first-degree murder and aggravated assault with a firearm. She is scheduled to stand trial in February 2024 on aggravated assault charges.
Rodriguez-Tomes will be sentenced on Dec. 1, 2023.