WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A 23-year-old man was sentenced to life in prison for killing his own nephew in Warwick in 2016, in a plot that prosecutors say he concocted with three strangers and a friend.
Jared Rogers was 20 when prosecutors say he climbed into his own bedroom window on Haswill Street, opened the back door for the men he recruited to help with the murder, and directed them to the bedrooms of his 19-year-old nephew Michael Rogers and his brother David Rogers.
David Rogers survived the stabbing, while Michael died. Jared Rogers pleaded no contest to 2nd-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and other charges in December.
“I don’t understand why,” said Michael’s mother Andrea Rogers, standing feet away from her brother Jared in the courtroom. “Michael was a good kid, he didn’t bother anybody. You killed my son in his sleep when he couldn’t even defend himself.”
She handed a sheriff a funeral card with Michael’s photo on it to give to Jared at the defense table, who looked away in tears.
Rogers was sentenced to life in prison for 2nd-degree murder, and multiple concurrent sentences for the other charges. Judge Daniel Procaccini declined his request for a 35-year sentence, saying he saw little prospects for rehabilitation.
Criminal cases are still pending against co-defendants Josue Morillo, Jake Cabral, Andrew Soben and John Ingram.
While the Attorney General’s office declined to comment on which defendant wielded the knife in the murder and attempted murder, prosecutors are clear that Rogers planned the crimes.
“This was his family, his home, and his idea,” said Special Assistant Attorney General Amy Dodge. “The other co-defendants each made a choice to go into that home as well, but nobody would’ve been at 149 Haswill Street had it not been for this defendant.”
Jared Rogers started to read a letter to the court, but was apparently too overcome with emotion to continue. His defense attorney Melissa Larsen read the letter instead, which included an apology to his mother, his sister, and to the nephew he killed.
“To my sister Andrea, I am so incredibly sorry,” the letter said. “I can only imagine what you must be feeling day in and day out.” He didn’t give an explanation for the murder, but said he considered his nephew Michael, who was only a year younger than him, to be his best friend.
Outside court, Andrea Rogers told Eyewitness News she couldn’t accept her brother’s apology.
“You can’t apologize for taking someone’s life,” she said. “My brother orchestrated my son getting killed. It doesn’t even sound right.”
She described Michael as a good, lovable kid.
“He didn’t even get to live his life,” she said. “He just graduated before he got killed.”