Battle lines drawn in sledgehammer attack trial
Sandra Rogers finally had her day in court Tuesday, nearly 10 years after she was arrested in the sledgehammer attack on her ex-husband and his new wife in their Lincolnshire home.
And, Lake County prosecutors and Rogers' defense attorney wasted no time in drawing the battle lines in the case.
Prosecutors said Sandra Rogers swung the hammer in the attack, while defense attorneys claimed it was the boyfriend of her then-teenage daughter, Robin, who attacked Rick Rogers and Angela Gloria on May 19, 2003, and Robin helped him do it.
Opening statements in Sandra Rogers' attempted murder trial kicked off despite numerous delays.
Sandra Rogers remains charged with solicitation of murder, attempted murder and home invasion, accused of attacking her ex-husband after a bitter custody battle over Robin Rogers in 2003.
Prosecutors contend Rogers and accomplice Jonathon McMeekin, then 17, were behind the attack on Rick Rogers and Gloria. Both survived the attack.
In his opening statement, Assistant State's Attorney Rod Drobinski said Rick Rogers was asleep in his bed when Gloria heard a noise in the hallway. She opened the bedroom door and was hit across the face by McMeekin, Drobinski said.
Rick Rogers got out of bed and, during a scuffle, put McMeekin in a choke hold, Drobinski said. Sandra Rogers hit Rick Rogers with the sledgehammer from behind, Drobinski stated in court.
"This was not an attack by some stranger," he told jurors. "This attack was personal."
McMeekin is expected to testify this week that he was with Sandra Rogers during the attack, but defense attorney Gillian Gosch argued it was Robin Rogers who assisted McMeekin because she wanted her father dead.
"The state arrested and charged the wrong Rogers," Gosch said. "The defense will attempt to prove to you that it was Robin Rogers that aided Jonathon McMeekin."
Despite McMeekin's claims, Sandra Rogers, now 56, has long maintained her innocence, even after the 2004 plea bargain that sent her to prison.
That deal was thrown out last year and Rogers was awarded a new trial after Lake County Judge Phillips ruled she was tricked into admitting her role in the crime.
The trial was almost delayed for another month after prosecutors learned Robin Rogers — who is scheduled to testify — was attacked by an unknown assailant early Monday.
After her surgery at a hospital, prosecutors said Robin Rogers will be able to testify later this week or early next week.
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