Danger to community’ held without bond

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 12, 2004

[8/12/04]The Vicksburg man police say is the surviving gunman in a shootout at a downtown nightclub will continue to be held in jail without bond, a Warren County judge ordered Wednesday.

“He is a danger to the community. At least three times he has fired a gun within the limits of the City of Vicksburg,” Police Chief Tommy Moffett said. “If that doesn’t constitute a danger to the community, I don’t know what does.”

Reginald Rogers, 27, 2404 Railroad Alley, is charged with the murder of Danny Woodland, 32, 1807 Main St. Police said the two opened fire on one another Aug. 2 in The Hill Top Lounge.

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Rogers is also charged with four counts of aggravated assault and shooting in an occupied building at the club at 1515 Washington St.

Warren County Judge Johnny Price also heard testimony from Police Detective Billy Brown before declining to set a bond for Rogers’ release.

Records from the jail and 9th Circuit Court District Attorney’s Office show that Rogers was arrested in 1995 on receiving stolen property and aggravated assault on a police officer charges. The assault charge was not pursued because of a lack of evidence, and the stolen property charge was remanded because no file was received from the investigating agency.

In 1997, he was charged again for an aggravated assault but that case was remanded because of insufficient evidence.

Three years later, Rogers was arrested on charges of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. That case was also closed due to a lack of evidence.

Rogers was back in jail in September 2001 for three counts of aggravated assault and one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling for a shooting on Oak Street. No one was injured by the gunfire, and the case was dropped because the victims were unwilling to prosecute.

Six months later, Rogers was again involved in shooting and charged with three counts of aggravated assault after a shooting at Mission 66 and East Avenue. A Warren County jury found him innocent on all three counts.

Rogers was arrested Friday on the pending charges as he was released from River Region Medical Center.

Wednesday’s testimony from Moffett and Brown showed that witnesses said Rogers and Woodland had two arguments over a woman just before they exchanged gunfire.

“They both displayed firearms by lifting up their shirts,” Brown said.

He said that witnesses have said that Rogers had a gun in his hand and Woodland turned to walk away. Woodland turned back around and fired his gun at Rogers, shooting him once in the chest. Rogers returned fire as Woodland tried to leave the club, hitting Woodland.

“Woodland fell down, and Rogers fired three times over the body of him,” before leaving the club and waving a gun in the streets, Brown said.

Woodland was pronounced dead at the scene by Warren County Coroner John Thomason.

A total of 11 shots were fired in the club and police said that the investigation shows Woodland fired two shots, with Rogers firing the remaining nine.

When asked by Rogers’ attorney Travis Vance, why police were objecting to giving Rogers a bond, Brown replied, “For a fact, one person is dead, more are shot and he shot into an occupied dwelling, according to eye witness accounts.”

Also brought up in testimony were the owners and previous illegal activity of the downtown lounge.

The club opened June 8, and city officials have since filed for a temporary injunction to close the club, citing illegal gambling and a previous stabbing there.