Rogers gets 35 years for death, assaults|[10/15/05]

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 15, 2005

A Warren County Circuit Court judge sentenced Reginald Rogers to 35 years in prison Friday, taking time to express sadness over the choices he said Rogers made.

Jurors convicted Rogers, 29, 2006 Pearl St., of manslaughter in the death of Danny Woodland, 32, and two counts of aggravated assault in shooting injuries to two others in a three-day trial that ended Sept. 29. The shooting happened in a crowded nightclub at 1515 Washington Street about 12:55 a.m. on Aug. 2, 2004.

Patrick sentenced Rogers to 20 years on the manslaughter conviction, 10 years in injuries to Lakeia S. Green, then 25, 47 Scenic Drive; and five years in injuries to Christopher Henderson, then 30, 1005 Urban Court. Patrick ordered those prison terms to run consecutively, adding to 35 years.

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The maximum prison sentence on each charge was 20 years, or a 60-year term if all had been imposed and ordered to run consecutively.

Testimony at the trial was that Woodland’s death resulted from a shootout, with him firing first and shooting Rogers through the chest. Rogers returned fire, lethally wounding Woodland and then firing the fatal shot to the back of Woodland’s head while Woodland was face-down on the floor of the club, the prosecution argued the evidence showed.

Patrick said what saddened him was that &#8221two intelligent young men who have a lot to give to this community“ chose to settle their differences like a Wild West &#8221shootout at the OK Corral.“

&#8221We as a community are better than that,“ Patrick said, adding citizens should not be &#8221settling our differences by who can carry the biggest gun or who can shoot first.“

Patrick also told Rogers that he had probably come within minutes of losing his own life in the shootout.

&#8221I can’t help remember how said I felt when I sat and listened to that testimony,“ Patrick said before handing down his sentence.

Rogers had been in the Warren County Jail since his arrest following the shooting. Patrick ordered him to begin serving his prison sentence immediately.

Two other people were also injured in the shooting in the club, called the Hill Top Lounge. Immediately following the shooting the city government threatened legal action to close the business and it has since been closed.

Rogers was initially charged with murder and four counts of aggravated assault but was indicted on only the charges on which he went to trial.