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Woman guilty of trying to kill ex-hubby, new wife with sledgehammer


Sandra Rogers

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Updated: February 6, 2013 11:33PM

A jealous ex-wife was convicted Wednesday of trying to kill her ex-husband and his new younger wife.

Sandra Rogers, 56, formerly of Mundelein, faces 12 to 60 years in prison.

“This case resembles something like a Lifetime movie. Its plot is filled with rage, jealousy and desperation by an angry, bitter, frustrated ex-wife . . . unfortunately, this case is a real-life nightmare,” Lake County Assistant State’s Attorney Danielle Pascucci said in her closing arguments.

Rogers’ trial came to a close Wednesday after more than a week of testimony, including from Rogers’ accomplice, Jonathan McMeekin, who acknowledged a sexual relationship with Rogers and a romantic relationship with her teenage daughter.

Rogers was convicted on four counts of home invasion, two counts of attempted murder and one count of solicitation of murder.

Rogers and McMeekin, then 17, entered her ex-husband Rick Rogers’ Lincolnshire residence early on May 19, 2003. Prosecutors said Rogers attacked Rick and his new wife, Angela, with a two-pound sledgehammer.

“When I saw the two victims, I thought for sure they were dead,” Lincolnshire Police Sgt. James Hanley testified. “I remember seeing a large gash. It looked like there was a dent in his head.”

The couple survived, but Rick Rogers spent days in a coma and it took him a year to regain all of his motor functions.

Sandra Rogers entered a plea of “no contest” in 2004; she did not directly admit guilt but acknowledged that there was enough evidence to convict her. Rogers had served about seven years of her sentence when her petition for a new trial was granted because a jail guard had passed a message between McMeekin and Rogers.

Almost 10 years after the crime, Rogers went to trial. McMeekin did not retract his guilty plea for his role in the crime.

“Justice was delayed, not denied,” Assistant States Attorney Rod Drobinski said.

Prosecutors painted Rogers as a jealous ex-wife with personal motivation for bludgeoning her ex-husband and his new wife with a sledgehammer.

McMeekin testified that his role in the crime was to knock Rick Rogers’ wife to the floor and then get in a wrestling match with Rick. Sandra Rogers wielded the sledgehammer, he testified.

She used sex, alcohol and drugs to “ingratiate herself” with McMeekin, Pascucci said. Sandra and Rick Rogers’ daughter, Robin, who was 14 at the time, was dating McMeekin.

McMeekin has served about 10 years of his 20-year sentence. During his testimony, he gave what he called his fifth and truthful account of what happened the night of the attack.

“The problem is none of us know what is true,” Sandra Rogers’ defense attorney, Gillian Gosch, told the jury. “To convict Sandy, you have to believe McMeekin and you can’t believe McMeekin because he’s made so many statements.”

Rick Rogers testified that he had been hit in the back of the head about six times. His wife was hit in the face multiple times, according to testimony.

Sandra Rogers did not testify. She remained in custody at Lake County Jail and was scheduled for sentencing on March 14.

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