SACRAMENTO - Fox40 TV personality Sabrina Rodriguez announced Tuesday she's resigned her position at the station and severed ties with her fiance and co-defendant in a felony shoplifting case.
"I am heartbroken to say I've resigned my position at Fox40," Rodriguez posted on her Facebook page. "Given the recent media attention I feel it was the best decision to make."
Later in the day, Rodriguez sent a text message relayed by public relations consultant Doug Elmets:
"As of today I have severed my ties with Nick Gray. I am now focusing on life decisions as I move forward with the support of family, friends, viewers and the community."
Rodriguez, 31, surrendered July 31 on an arrest warrant naming her as an accomplice in the March 2013 theft of 10 wallets valued at $2,500 from the Coach outlet store in Folsom.
According to a police affidavit, Rodriguez was seen on surveillance video directing Gray to the collection of wallets that he eventually placed in a bag before leaving the store without paying for them.
Store employees said they recognized Rodriguez from TV.
Rodriguez was detained at the store but not arrested. By the time a Folsom police officer arrived, Gray had left the shopping center and refused a request in a phone call to return.
Gray was ultimately arrested on the Coach felony shoplifting charge in May 2014, and investigators said text messages and pictures found on his iPhone established Rodriguez's knowledge of and participation in the Folsom incident and others, which led to the warrant for her arrest.
News10 has uncovered a long criminal history involving 30-year-old Nicholas Gray, dating back to just after his 18th birthday. Charges include drug possession and sales, battery, stalking, intimidating a witness and arson.
A 2010 burglary conviction in Yolo County led to a four-year prison sentence. The California Department of Corrections would not provide information on where and when Gray served his time, citing a request from the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office that said it might interfere with the current prosecution.
In addition to the shoplifting case, Gray faces several felony charges stemming from an explosion and fire May 6 at the south Sacramento home he shared with Rodriguez.
Because of Gray's criminal background, prosecutors are pursuing a two-strikes enhancement which could lead to additional prison time if he's convicted of the charges stemming from the house fire.
Additionally, if Gray is able to post $600,000 bail, he must first prove the money did not come from drug sales.
Investigators believe Gray was cooking highly-flammable butane honey oil, an extremely concentrated form of cannabis. Rodriguez was home at the time, but has not been charged in connection with the fire.
Gray has also been charged with misdemeanor battery for what sources say was a shoving incident that involved a female private investigator hired by the landlord to look into the cause of the fire.
Rodriguez later spoke of the fire on Fox40 and during a June acceptance speech at the Emmy Awards in San Francisco, but never mentioned the alleged source of the explosion.
Sacramento attorney Mark Reichel, who represents Rodriguez, said his client has made some poor choices-- not the least of which was her decision to get involved with Gray.
"There's no doubt in my mind that Ms. Rodriguez, with her stellar career and tremendous life choices she's made up until that point, would not be in this kind of trouble if she had not been associated with this individual," Reichel said.
Elmets, the public relations consultant, said Rodriguez was unaware of Gray's past when they began dating.