Defense: Tape implies daughter wanted dad dead
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org January 23, 2013 6:08PM
Updated: March 25, 2013 1:20AM
In the weeks prior to a brutal sledgehammer attack that nearly took the lives of her father and his new wife, his teenage daughter was recorded on tape asking her boyfriend to kill her father, defense attorney Gillian Gosch said Wednesday.
Gosch represents Sandra Rogers, the former Mundelein woman who is charged with attempted murder for the 2003 attack on her ex-husband and his wife as they slept in their Lincolnshire home.
Prosecutors said Rogers used drugs and sex to manipulate Jonathan McMeekin, who was 17 at the time, to help her carry out the attack on May 19, 2003.
McMeekin pleaded guilty and is serving 20 years in prison.
Rogers is due for trial Monday. Attorneys were in Lake County Circuit Court Wednesday finalizing what evidence would be allowed to be presented at trial.
“(The teenage daughter) asked a boyfriend of hers on the tape to kill her father. I want to get this in (at trial),” Gosch told Judge John Phillips.
She had previously said the defense theory of the case is that the daughter conspired to kill her father.
Her father had been recording all calls to and from the Lincolnshire home for an unknown reason for some weeks prior to the night he was attacked, Gosch said.
Another hearing addressing the tapes will be held before jury selection begins next week. Gosch said she just received the tapes from the prosecution.
Gosch said a recorded conversation between the daughter and McMeekin will come out in trial because it is in statements made to police. The teenage daughter discussed the layout of her father’s house in this conversation, Gosch said.
Gosch also unsuccessfully sought to introduce a letter the daughter wrote a day or two prior to the attack speaking of the teen’s hatred for her father.
“She (the teen daughter) carved ‘die (expletive)’ with a razor in her arm,” Gosch said describing what was in the letter.
Gosch also said McMeekin had carved the same inscription in his arm.
“There’s nothing in that letter that she wants to hurt them (the teen’s dad and stepmother). I don’t think it’s relevant at all,” Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Pascucci said.
Phillips said the letter was not relevant, but would not bar Gosch from asking the teen if the events happened.
Gosch also was barred Wednesday from introducing evidence about an alleged statement made incriminating the teen daughter. A boy, who was 3 at the time of the attack, had allegedly told a cousin that “mommy told (his teen sister) to stop,” according to court documents. That boy and the cousin testified Wednesday that they did not recollect this.
“Very understandably, the young (boy) doesn’t remember anything,” Phillips said.
Rogers was granted a new trial because on appeal it was ruled she had an ineffective attorney. She had pleaded guilty in 2004 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
After seven and a half years, it was discovered that her former attorney (not Gosch) failed to investigate that a jail corrections officer passed a message of “I love you” or “I’m sorry” between Rogers and McMeekin.
Rogers is in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $4 million bond.