Sledgehammer attack witness: Sandra Rogers hit ex-husband
Sandra Rogers shouted obscenities as she lifted a red sledgehammer over her head and struck her ex-husband several times, an accomplice in the nearly decade-old attack testified Tuesday.
Jonathan McMeekin took the witness stand in Lake County Court for the second consecutive day in Sandra Rogers' attempted murder trial to recount the grisly details of the May 19, 2003 attack on Rick Rogers, and his new wife Angela Gloria in their Lincolnshire home.
McMeekin, who was 17 at the time, said he had just struck and knocked down Gloria when Rick Rogers, swore, jumped at him and began choking him.
"I started seeing spots and my vision went red," McMeekin told the jury. "Then, I felt a thump through his body and he rolled off me."
The thump, he said, was Sandra Rogers hitting Rick Rogers in the head with the 5-pound sledgehammer. McMeekin testified Sandra Rogers dropped to her knees, and while holding the sledgehammer with both hands over her head, struck her ex-husband's head four more times.
"She struck Rick on the head and said 'you bastard' every time she came down," he said. "She wouldn't stop hitting Rick ... I took the hammer from her, ran down the stairs and out of the house."
McMeekin, 26, has already served about 10 years of a 20-year prison sentence he received after he pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder for his role in the attack. Both victims survived.
Sandra Rogers, 56, formerly of Mundelein, is charged with conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder and home invasion. She has also spent the last 10 years in prison after accepting a 2004 plea deal, but that deal was thrown out of court last year when Lake County Judge John Phillips ruled she was tricked into admitting her role in the crime, paving the way for the trial. She remains in jail on a $4 million bond.
McMeekin testified he participated in the attack because Sandra Rogers threatened to tell Robin Rogers — her daughter and his then-14-year-old girlfriend — that she and McMeekin were having a sexual affair.
Defense attorney Gillian Gosch challenged McMeekin's testimony. She pointed out McMeekin gave police four different statements after he was taken into custody, and that he said he didn't see any blood in the room or on Sandra Rogers after the two had left the Rogers' home.
Gosch has contended that Robin Rogers, not Sandra Rogers, was the person who swung the hammer. Robin Rogers denied any involvement in the attack when she testified last week.
Rick Rogers testified last week that he jumped on McMeekin after he hit Gloria in the doorway of their bedroom just before 5 a.m. Rick Rogers added that, while he was holding down McMeekin, he was hit from behind by a sledgehammer.
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