Man That Used Office Supplies to Brutally Kill Co-Workers Pleads Guilty

CORAL GABLES, Florida — More than 11 years after the horrific workplace attack that claimed the lives of two colleagues, Jose Rojas, 55, has pleaded guilty to the brutal murders. On April 27, 2012, at the office of Frances Venezia’s company, Professional Public Adjusters, Rojas reportedly used various office supplies, including a mop handle and paper cutter, while bound by duct tape, to take the lives of Venezia and his co-worker Robert James.

According to authorities, Rojas had been embezzling from the company since December 2011, and his theft escalated to around $3,500 worth of gift cards and goods using a company credit card by April 2012. Two days before the murders, he overheard Venezia discussing the charges with the credit card company, leading investigators to believe that this triggered his plan for the killings.

After dropping off his daughter at school, Rojas allegedly purchased wooden mop, dish towels, and duct tape from a local store before showing up at the workplace armed with a pellet gun, a bag containing a ski mask, and extra clothing. Upon the arrival of Venezia and James, he allegedly subdued them with the gun and duct-taped them to office chairs. Prosecutors claim that Rojas attempted to force Venezia to issue a check to him from her personal account, resorting to using various office supplies to beat his victims when the initial plan failed.

During the trial, jurors were presented with graphic images of the crime scene, including items such as blood-stained duct tape, a bloody hole puncher, and a mop with a cracked handle. The prosecution also detailed how Rojas used the blade of a paper cutter to attack his victims. Both Venezia and James made desperate attempts to contact their loved ones for help but were tragically unable to escape their horrifying fate.

Rojas was apprehended by police outside the building, covered in blood, and attempted to flee before being tackled in an alley. After 17 hours of police interviews, he reportedly confessed to the crimes. Charged with two counts of first-degree murder, armed kidnapping, and attempted robbery, Rojas surprised the courtroom by pleading guilty during his trial.

Rojas has been held without bond since April 28, 2012, and his next hearing is scheduled for December 12.