Lake County Judge John Phillips sentenced Sandra Rogers to 61 years in prison, stating that he believed she was capable of committing a similar type of attack if she were ever set free. She’ll get credit for the time served since her 2003 arrest. She would have been eligible for parole in 2029 under the sentence for her initial guilty plea, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Phillips called the attack on Rick Rogers and Angela Gloria, “callous, brutal and premeditated.”
“It was a terrifying night,” he said. “It was a miracle that Mr. and Mrs. Rogers are still alive.”
A jury last month took less than three hours to find Sandra Rogers, 56, guilty of attempted murder, home invasion and solicitation of murder. A prosecutor likened the case to the plot of a Lifetime movie.
During the trial, Rogers' then-17-year-old accomplice, Jonathan McMeekin, acknowledged from the witness stand that the two were lovers — even though he was the boyfriend of Rogers' daughter Robyn, then 14. Sandra Rogers' attorney had argued that Robyn Rogers, not Sandra Rogers, was the true accomplice.
Authorities have said that McMeekin and Sandra Rogers 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. Rogers struck both of them over the head multiple times with a sledgehammer, nearly killing the couple, prosecutors said.
Today, in an emotional victim impact statement, Gloria talked about the physical and emotional scars she has been left with since the attack.
“Truth be told, the physical scars are the least of my problems from the crime,” she said as she shook and cried. “I struggle with migraines, depression and anxiety. Which one is worse is hard to say; all three of them give me thoughts of suicide.”
Robyn Rogers, now 24, talked about how her life had been “miserable,” losing two parents, having a mother sleep with her “first love” and being harassed and beaten up by classmates who thought she might have had something to do with the crime.
“Because of what my insane mother had done, and how terrified my dad and Angela were left after they recovered, I was left abandoned by my family at 15,” she said. “I became a ward of DCFS. I was moved from foster home to foster home, in and out of rehab facilities, hospitals and group homes.”
Rick Rogers pleaded with Phillips to give his ex-wife the maximum time allowed by law – 65 years.
“Sandra has expressed no remorse,” he said. “She is a self-centered, vindictive person who blames others for her problems. A shortened sentence would leave Angela and me with the perpetual fear that Sandra would one day be set free to again plot our murder.”
Sandra Rogers watched with no apparent emotion as the victims’ impact statements were read. She declined to give a statement before the sentence was delivered. Her attorney, Gillian Gosch, spoke on her behalf.
“Ms. Rogers is of course very sorry for what happened to Mr. and Mrs. Rogers," Gosch said. “However, she continued to maintain her innocence and still believes that the co-conspirator, based on the evidence, is Robyn Rogers.”
Gosch declined to say anything after the sentence was delivered, except that she would be appealing her client’s conviction.
“We are very happy with the sentence,” said Lake County Assistant State’s Atty. Danielle Pascucci. “We feel that given the horrific nature of the crime and the facts and circumstances of the attempted murder, it was justified and fair.”