Ex-husband testifies in Lincolnshire sledgehammer attack trial
By Beth Kramer firstname.lastname@example.org January 31, 2013 7:28PM
Updated: April 2, 2013 2:06AM
Rick Rogers had stayed up until close to midnight paying the family’s bills. He went to sleep beside his wife in their bed on Sunday, May 18, 2003, at their Lincolnshire home.
“I remember waking up to my wife yelling or screaming .... I saw her falling down to the floor. She had been hit. There was a man standing in the door,” he testified Thursday in Lake County Circuit Court.
Rogers jumped out of bed and wrestled the man to the ground, believing he had just subdued the only intruder.
“As I was going to grab his wrist, that’s when I got hit in the back of the head,” Rick told the jury.
He said he was “probably” hit six to eight times.
Rick’s ex-wife, Sandra Rogers, 56, is alleged to have wielded the sledgehammer against Rick and his new wife, Angela, while Jonathan McMeekin was fighting with Rick.
Rick’s testimony came Thursday during his ex wife’s trial.
He was hospitalized for about two weeks following the sledgehammer attack, he said. He was in a coma for a few days and incapable of walking or speaking following the attack, he testified.
It took him a year after the attack to regain all of his motor functions,.
“My memory is not what it used to be. I’m not as sharp intellectually. I’m not the same person,” Rick said, adding that his wife took “the worst” of the attack.
Rick testified that someone struck him in the head and struck his wife in the face.
Rick was clear on who he wrestled during the early hours of May 19, 2003. He named McMeekin, who was dating his 14-year-old daughter, Robin Rogers.
Rick testified that he had met his daughter’s boyfriend once before about two months prior to May 19.
Rick and his ex-wife had two daughters together. Robin is the youngest.
Rick had regained residential custody of his daughters a few months prior to the attack, he testified. He said he had sought custody of his teenage daughters after he learned McMeekin had moved into his daughter’s bedroom and slept in her bed at her mother’s residence.
Robin Rogers, now 24, testified Thursday that she and her (now ex-) boyfriend McMeekin drank alcohol at her mother’s house.
“There was always alcohol at any house my mother lived in,” Robin testified.
Prosecutors have said that Sandra Rogers manipulated McMeekin into helping her attack her ex-husband and his new wife with alcohol, drugs and sex. McMeekin pleaded guilty to participating in the attack and is serving a 20-year prison sentence.
McMeekin is expected to testify in Rogers’ trial.
Further testimony is expected from Robin today, Feb. 1.
Rogers remains in custody at Lake County Jail in lieu of $4 million bond.
Defense attorney Gillian Gosch has said that Robin conspired with McMeekin to kill her father. Gosch said in her opening statement that McMeekin was the one who swung the sledgehammer.