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‘I thought for sure they were dead’

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Updated: April 1, 2013 2:06AM

“When I saw the two victims, I thought for sure they were dead,” a Lincolnshire police officer testified Wednesday in Lake County Circuit Court.

Responding to a 9-1-1 call of an intruder on May 19, 2003, Sgt. James Hanley said he found a hysterical teenager, sobbing young children and two adults sprawled on their bed covered in blood.

Testifying at the trial of Sandra Rogers, who is accused in the brutal sledgehammer attack, Hanley said police heard screaming and yelling inside the Lincolnshire home.

The two victims were later identified as Sandra Rogers’ ex-husband Rick Rogers and his new wife, Angela. They were attacked while asleep in the home on the 200 block of Westminster Way.

Sandra Rogers, 56, formerly of Mundelein, is on trial this week on attempted murder charges.

Prosecutors said Rogers and Jonathan McMeekin, 17, attacked the couple. The defense said McMeekin worked with one of Rogers’ teenage daughters to carry out the attack.

Hanley’s testimony Wednesday was the first presented to the jury in Rogers’ trial.

Hanley testified Rick and Angela Rogers were laying “motionless, covered in blood.”

He saw some movement from the woman laying on the bed and heard her say, “Help me,” Hanley testified.

Hanley said he got a good look at the woman’s face.

“It was bad, swollen up ... (with) blood all over her face. Her teeth were bashed in,” Hanley said.

He said he held Angela Rogers’ hand and tried to comfort her while he called for paramedics and backup to search the house for a suspect.

Paramedics arrived after a few minutes. Rick Rogers was laying in the bed next to her the entire time.

“I thought he was dead. I was directing most of my attention to her,” Hanley said. “I thought she was in the process of dying. (He) started to writhe like a snake ... I remember seeing a large gash. It looked like there was a dent in his head.”

Prosecutors said Rogers wielded the sledgehammer. The defense said it was McMeekin.

McMeekin pleaded guilty to his role and eventually implicated Rogers in the attack.

McMeekin is expected to testify against Rogers in the trial later today or Friday, or early next week.

McMeekin is serving 20 years in prison for his role. Rogers has pleaded not guilty and is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $4 million bond.

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