‘She wouldn’t stop hitting’ ex-husband, witness testifies
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org February 5, 2013 6:20PM
Updated: March 7, 2013 6:36AM
Jonathan McMeekin walked through a Lincolnshire residence with his girlfriend’s mother, both wearing black masks over their faces, in the early hours of May 19, 2003.
McMeekin’s girlfriend’s mother was Sandra Rogers, and she carried a two-pound red sledgehammer as they made their way upstairs to the bedroom where Rogers’ ex-husband Rick and his new wife lay sleeping, McMeekin testified Tuesday in Lake County Circuit Court.
His testimony is part of the prosecution’s case against Rogers, who is on trial in Judge John Phillips’ courtroom. A jury of eight men and eight women (12 jurors, plus four alternates) are in their second week of hearing evidence against Rogers, who is on trial for attempted murder, solicitation of murder and home invasion.
McMeekin has served about 10 years of his 20-year prison sentence. He pleaded guilty to his role in the attempted murder.
His role in the attack was to subdue Rick and his wife, while Sandra Rogers wielded the sledgehammer, McMeekin told the jury. McMeekin, now 26, was 17 at the time. Rogers, now 56, was 46 at the time, McMeekin said.
Rogers opened the bedroom door and the woman — Rick’s new wife Angela —made a “scared noise” and slapped him, McMeekin said. McMeekin said he then picked her up and threw her to the floor. That was when Rick jumped up in bed and started screaming profanities at them.
McMeekin said Rick started wrestling with him. Rick had his arm around McMeekin and was choking him when he “felt a thump” through Rick’s body.
“I saw Rick on the floor and I saw Sandy fall to her knees and start hitting Rick on the head with a hammer,” McMeekin testified. “Every time she hit him, she said, ‘You bastard.’”
Sandra Rogers hit Rick four times to the back of the head with the sledgehammer, McMeekin testified.
McMeekin said he “felt like he needed to get out of there.”
“I told her we had to go. She wouldn’t stop hitting Rick,” McMeekin said.
He grabbed the sledgehammer from Sandra Rogers, ran from the house and then dumped it in a nearby creek.
When Lincolnshire police came to get him from school later that day to question him, Rick gave police three different versions of what happened.
He did not implicate Rogers as having a role in the attack during his first three statements. He took the blame and said he was alone when he carried out the attack. He told police he used the sledgehammer against both Rick and his wife in his first interrogation.
He admitted to lying to investigators again in July 2003.
McMeekin was in custody at Lake County Jail when he said he wanted to tell the truth about what happened. He testified Tuesday that his account about what happened during the attack was true, but that he lied about the extent of his relationship with Rogers.
McMeekin had been dating Rogers’ and Rick’s teenage daughter, Robin, at the time.
“I told (investigators in July 2003) that I only slept with Sandy once. I was ashamed that I’d been having sex with somebody my mother’s age, that I was having sex with my girlfriend’s mother,” McMeekin said.