A woman and her accomplice who went on a Valentine’s Day rampage in San Jose pleaded guilty on Wednesday to taking a UPS truck driver hostage, carjacking, and attempted murder.
Joanna Macy-Rodgers, 27, of San Jose, is facing a life prison sentence. Her partner, Mark Morasky, was shot and killed by police during the 2019 Valentine’s Day rampage.
“The Sheriff’s and San Jose Police Department stopped a violent couple from further mayhem,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “None of this county’s public safety agencies will allow criminals to turn our safe streets into the wild west.”
On February 14, 2019, two sheriff’s deputies saw an SUV illegally park at the Ohlone-Chynoweth Light Rail Station. When they tried to approach, the SUV — driven by Morasky — sped away and a car chase ensued.
During the chase, Macy-Rodgers fired at the deputies multiple times, striking one of their vehicles.
The duo continued fleeing through busy San Jose city streets and highways.
“Speeding the wrong way down Highway 87 during rush hour, the suspect vehicle made its way to Communications Hill in San Jose, where Morasky and Macy-Rodgers exited. There they carjacked a UPS driver and — threatening him with the shotgun — forced him to drive them away,” prosecutors wrote.
When the SUV stopped at North First Street near Trimble Road, Macy-Rodgers surrendered, but Morasky continued fleeing.
Thirty-eight minutes later, the UPS driver convinced Morasky to let him go. Morasky tried to escape in the truck, however, sheriff’s deputies and San Jose police officers blocked the UPS truck with armored vehicles.
“After pointing his weapon at the officers, the suspect ran from the truck, carrying the loaded shotgun, toward an area where the press was gathered behind police barricades,” prosecutors wrote. Morasky — still armed — was running towards news reporters when one San Jose Police Department officer opened fire.
“Officer Nicholas Bronte – a former U.S. Marine who had been an officer since 2006 – shot Morasky once with a service rifle, fatally,” the District Attorney’s Office stated.
The DA’s Office later determined that Officer Bronte lawfully used lethal force.
On Wednesday, Macy-Rodgers pleaded guilty to one count of attempted murder of a peace officer, a gun allegation, a carjacking charge, and a hostage false imprisonment charge.