Defense attorneys said Tuesday they intend to prove the daughter of a Lincolnshire man, not his ex-wife, was the true accomplice in a sledgehammer attack that took place in the middle of the night a decade ago.
Attorney Gillian Gosch told Lake County Judge John Phillips "it's no surprise" that the defense will try to prove that Sandra D. Rogers was not involved in a 2003 attack on her ex-husband, Rick Rogers.
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Instead, Gosch said, their evidence will show that the woman's daughter, then 14, coerced her ex-boyfriend Jonathon McMeekin into trying to kill her father.
"Mrs. Rogers wasn't the accomplice," Gosch said in court Tuesday afternoon. "We believe (the daughter) was the accomplice."
Prosecutors and defense attorneys were in court with Sandra Rogers for a hearing Tuesday afternoon to lay out ground rules for Roger's long-awaited trial, scheduled to begin Jan. 28.
The two are also expected to meet on Thursday to continue the hearing.
Sandra Rogers, 56, has been serving a 30-year sentence after she cut a plea deal with prosecutors in 2004 for the sledgehammer attack on her ex-husband and his wife, Angela Gloria.
Both victims survived the attack.
However, after he learned that testimony detrimental to the prosecution was never shared with Rogers' defense, Phillips undid Rogers plea in May and reset the case to where it ended in 2004.
Rogers, formerly of Mundelein, remains in custody. Officially, the charges as they were reinstated are for attempted murder and home invasion.
Authorities have long said Rogers and McMeekin went to the Lincolnshire home of Richard Rogers and attacked them as they slept. Rogers has long maintained her innocence.
McMeekin pleaded guilty to attempted murder and is currently in prison. He was prepared in 2003 to testify against Rogers if her case went to trial.