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McMeekin told Sandra Rogers he ‘didn’t want to do it’

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Divorce attorney testifies

A divorce attorney, Lindsey Coleman, who handled an agreed order March 20, 2003, between Sandra and Rick Rogers that gave residential custody of their two girls to him and allowed him to stop making child support payments, testified Monday that Sandra was very angry after agreeing to the move.

They were meeting in the coffee shop/information desk area of the Lake County Court House and she became so loud she attracted the attention of court deputies.

“She was very upset and spoke in a very loud voice,” said Coleman. The payments were $1,250 a month (about $15,000 per year) that Rogers would no longer have to pay to his ex-wife.

“She was livid that he was taking the support and the girls away from her,’ she said. “She made it crystal clear that even though she signed the order it was an attack on her as a person,” she said.

Defense Attorney Gillian Gosch got her to admit that oftentimes divorced couples get upset with each other. “Ever see verbal fights in the hallway?”

“Sure,” said Coleman.

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Updated: April 6, 2013 2:13AM

The main witness for prosecutors in the trial of Sandra Rogers, 56, formerly of Mundelein, is her daughter’s boyfriend who testified that Rogers recruited him in the attempted slaying of her ex-husband and new wife by saying she would tell her daughter she had sex with him.

“She said she wanted to kill him,” said Jonathan McMeekin, who has pleaded guilty and is serving 20 years in the Illinois Department of Correction’s Lawrence Correctional Center, describing the night of the attempted murder against Rogers’ ex-husband, Richard, and his new wife, Angela Gloria. The couple were struck repeatedly with a sledgehammer in the Lincolnshire home May 19, 2003.

“She wanted me to go with her. I told her I didn’t want to do it,” he said, after describing how he was buzzed from smoking marijuana a couple of times that evening and had also drank 8 to 12 beers, all after he had played in a flag football game at the Libertyville Sport Complex and then some basketball at the Mundelein apartment complex, where his family and Sandra Rogers lived just two doors away.

It was 1:30 a.m. when Sandra Rogers came home and McMeekin asked her where she had been. He had let himself into her apartment with the key that she gave him. She often bought marijuana for him and kept beer in the refrigerator.

“She didn’t answer, she just shrugged it off,” he said, adding that was not typical of her. She started talking about how she didn’t want to be arrested on Monday and that “she wanted to kill him. She wanted me to go with her. I told her I didn’t want to. She told me I owed her, she kept talking about how I owed her,” he said, because she had bought him football cleats for flag football ($95), let him stay with her at the apartment and took care of him, buying or making him meals numerous times each week, allowing him to use her car even though he was unlicensed.

McMeekin had been dating her daughter, Robin, when she was 13 and he was 16. She lived with her mother and sister, Amber, on Broadway Avenue in Libertyville and he lived a few blocks away at 318 2nd St. with his family in 2001. At one point, he began sleeping with her mother, but he never told Robin he was sleeping with her.

“She said if I didn’t go, she would tell Robin we had sex,” he testified. “I didn’t want her to hurt Robin because I was in a relationship with her. I decided to go with her because I didn’t want Robin to know,” he said.

They got into her Ford Mustang and she drove to Lincolnshire and he sat in the passenger seat. “How were you feeling?” asked Prosecutor Danielle Pascucci. “Stoned. A little buzzed,” he said, adding that he didn’t see her smoke any marijuana and she didn’t appear intoxicated. “I asked her what we were going to do and she wouldn’t answer,” he said.

According to McMeekin, first they parked in a nearby business park, but he objected because it was too far away because he was too buzzed. She parked closer at the end of her ex-husband’s block. She reached behind the seat and got a ski mask that she gave to him, a long one with just eye holes, and then she pulled out another for herself. Next she pulled out black gloves for herself and latex gloves for him, “like the ones doctor’s wear,” he said. He got out of the car and she reached in the back seat one more time and pulled out a hammer, cone-shaped on the end “a sledgehammer,” he said.

“She tried to give to me. I wouldn’t take it,” he said. They approached the house and went to the back deck where he told her how to break a sliding glass door with an elbow. But they didn’t make entry. He backed off the porch and stood on the grass behind some bushes and she walked around the house and then came back to the porch. She put the hammer near the sliding glass door and stood there.

“I stayed there staring off into space. It was warm, clear, bright night, The moon was out” he said. “Any lights?” asked Pascucci, “No, I don’t think there was,” he said. Then he heard the sliding glass door open and he looked up and she motioned for him to come back up onto the deck. She went into the house and motioned for me with her hand. I went up on the deck and into the house,” he said, noting that was the first time he had ever been in the home.

At that point, the testimony ended to continue today, Tuesday, that will also feature four police officers, McMeekin’s attorney and possibly a jail guard. The trial is unusual in that in February of 2012, after serving about seven years of her 30-year prison sentence for trying to murder her ex-husband and his wife, Rogers wanted to withdraw her guilty plea because she had an ineffective defense attorney.

Defense attorney Gillian Gosch has named Robin Rogers as McMeekin’s accomplice. She testified Friday that her mother wanted her ex-husband dead.

“(My mom said) she wished he (Rick) died, wished he would fall of the face of the earth,” Robin told the jury. “She said how much she hated him ... she wanted him dead.” During, at times tearful, testimony, Robin also said her mother did not have anything nice to say about Rick’s new wife.

Robin, who was 14 at the time of the attack, found her dad and stepmother “covered in blood” around 5 a.m., and she called 9-1-1.

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