Sledgehammer assault victim describes near-fatal attack

Special to the Tribune

It took Rick Rogers five or six years to regain his memory of the night he and his wife were bludgeoned with a hammer in their Lincolnshire home, nearly killing them both.
After being hit repeatedly in the head, Rogers, now 59, was in a coma for three days and when he awoke he couldn’t speak, or walk. His wife, however, suffered the worst of it, he said Thursday during testimony at the Lake County trial of his ex-wife, Sandra Rogers, who is charged with attempted murder in the case.

“The assailant with the hammer went after her face,” Rick Rogers said. “She’s got scars from it, emotionally, physically. If you can imagine a pretty woman everyday looking in the mirror, seeing those scars.”
Sandra Rogers, now 56, pleaded guilty in 2004 to the attack.

But she was allowed to retract her guilty plea, and was granted a new trial, last May -- seven years into her 30-year sentence for attempted murder.

Authorities say Sandra Rogers and her teenage accomplice, Jonathan McMeekin, who also was convicted in the attack, drove together to her ex-husband's home in the middle of the night on May 19, 2003, broke in and surprised the couple in bed.
Lake Bluff Police Officer David Thomas, who also serves as an evidence technician with the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, took the stand Thursday to describe the scene that he videotaped at the couple’s townhome in Lincolnshire.
Just inside the door of the master bedroom where the attack occurred, dark red blood stains covered a large area of the light beige carpet, with trails of blood throughout the room. There was blood splattered on the walls and ceiling, and it had soaked through the mattress.

Thomas described what he called the “point of entry” for the attackers: a window well leading to a basement bedroom that belonged to Sandra and Rick Rogers’ oldest daughter.

Sandra Rogers’ lawyers have asserted that McMeekin was aided in the assault not by her but by Sandra and Rick Rogers’ younger daughter, who took the stand briefly Thursday. Her testimony is expected to continue Friday.
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