February 15, 2022
On February 14, 2022, a Humboldt County jury found Ulissess Rodriguez guilty of all charges brought by the District Attorney. The charges included the first-degree murders of Tiffany Ellebrecht and Jeremy Kuemmel, arson, with the special allegation that Mr. Rodriguez personally used a firearm to commit the murders. The jury also convicted Mr. Rodriguez of arson and criminal threats against witness John Doe, as well as personal use of a firearm during the criminal threats offense.
Evidence presented at trial proved that on August 14, 2018, Mr. Rodriguez shot Ms. Ellebrecht and Mr. Kuemmel to death at Rodriguez’ marijuana grow in the China Creek area, where Mr. Kuemmel and Ms. Ellebrecht had been working and living. After the murders, Mr. Rodriguez threatened John Doe and forced him to assist in moving the victims’ bodies. Later that night, Mr. Rodriguez used gasoline to burn the victims’ vehicle with their bodies within. Witnesses at the grow site, including John Doe, subsequently came forward, gave statements to investigators from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, and testified at trial.
Deputy District Attorneys Luke Bernthal and Trent Timm prosecuted the case. Private attorney Andrea Sullivan represented Mr. Rodriguez. Because he committed multiple murders, a “special circumstance” under California homicide law, Mr. Rodriguez faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole – he will be sentenced on April 1, 2022.