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Dayton Leroy Rogers - Oregon Death Row
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Thread: Dayton Leroy Rogers - Oregon Death Row

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    Dayton Leroy Rogers - Oregon Death Row


    Victims; Lisa Mock, Maureen Hodges, Christine Adams,Nondace Cervantes, Reatha Gyles and Cynthia DeVore




    Facts of the Crime:

    Convicted in the 1987 serial murders of Jennifer Smith, Cynthia "Dee Dee" Diane DeVore, Maureen Ann Hodges, Reatha Marie Gyles, Nondace "Noni" Kae Cervantes, Lisa Marie Mock and Christine Lotus Adams. He was convicted in 1989 of killing all seven women, and was sentenced to death. An eighth victim believed killed by Rogers was found but never identified, and Rogers was never charged in her death.

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    May 5, 2000

    Killer's death sentence reversed

    SALEM - The Oregon Supreme Court yesterday overturned the death sentence of the state's worst serial killer, Dayton Leroy Rogers, who was convicted in 1989 of murdering six prostitutes and leaving their bodies in a wooded area two years earlier.

    At Rogers' trial, jurors were told he had mutilated some of the women before stabbing them to death.

    The prostitutes' bodies were found in a forest about 30 miles southeast of Portland.

    Yesterday's ruling means there will have to be another sentencing hearing for Rogers - with a life sentence considered as an option.

    The Clackamas County Circuit Court erred by not allowing the sentencing jury to consider the option of life without chance of parole, the state Supreme Court ruled.

    "The trial court's decision . . . was not harmless error," the Supreme Court said. "A properly instructed jury might have returned a verdict supporting a sentence other than death."

    The trial court also failed to allow a psychologist to testify about possible causes of Rogers' brain damage, the high court said.

    This is the second time Rogers' death sentence has been overturned by the state Supreme Court.

    The first time was in 1992, based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in another case that juries had to consider additional factors in death-penalty cases.

    A Clackamas County Circuit Court jury then held another sentencing proceeding, where defense attorneys presented testimony not heard in Rogers' original trial, including evidence that he suffered from brain damage and had a troubled childhood. That jury reimposed the death penalty on Rogers.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...5&slug=4019194

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    March 4, 2006

    Send serial killer back to death row, jury says





    PORTLAND — A jury recommended Friday that Oregon's most prolific serial killer be sent back to death row for a third time.

    Dayton Leroy Rogers tortured and killed eight women in 1987, binding them with dog collars and coat hangers, stabbing them repeatedly and mutilating them — possibly while some were still alive.

    The Clackamas County jury was unanimous in its death sentences for six of those murders.

    Judge Ronald Thom will decide later whether to accept the recommendation, after hearing from families of the victims.

    Two previous juries had sentenced Rogers to death, but the Oregon Supreme Court overturned the sentences, in one case ruling that the jury must be given the option of sentencing Rogers to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

    Thom overruled an objection by defense attorney Linda Ludwig, who asked the judge to interview a juror she said was crying and "visibly upset" during the reading of the verdict.

    Thom responded that "it's not within my province to go into the manner in which the jury deliberated."

    He noted that Ludwig, prosecutor John Wentworth and Rogers all cried at some point in the sentencing trial.

    "You yourself were crying during your closing argument, the defendant [Rogers] was crying during his allocution and Mr. Wentworth had many tears in his eyes and had to stop," Thom said. "This has been an emotional trial and I find that not unusual at all."

    The jury ignored Rogers' claim that he was a changed man after 18 years in prison.

    The former lawn-mower repairman on Thursday delivered an allocution — a formal statement by a defendant to the court, often to admit guilt and take responsibility for a crime in hopes of more lenient sentencing.

    "There is never a day that I don't struggle from the very core of my heart and soul over the despicable acts I've committed," Rogers said.

    In finding that Rogers deserved the death penalty, the jury had to rule in each murder that it was done deliberately and there was a probability Rogers could still commit violent criminal acts that "constitute a continuing threat to society."

    The jury heard testimony from a psychologist who said Rogers, now 52, did not pose a danger to other prisoners because he is aging and wants to spend his time helping inmates, including working as a hospice volunteer to comfort the terminally ill.

    Another psychologist for the defense said many of Rogers' relatives — including his grandparents, parents and cousins — had mental illnesses or problems with alcohol.

    Defense attorneys capped the three-week trial in Oregon City on Thursday by asking jurors to take his childhood into account, saying Rogers was beaten by a father who also killed family pets by gassing them or running them over with a car.

    But the jury also heard a psychiatrist testify on behalf of the prosecution that Rogers would pose a danger if he were ever released, and still suffers from a serious anti-social disorder.

    Prosecutors argued that Rogers is a manipulator, not the remorseful man depicted by the defense.

    One of his victims was never identified after seven bodies were found in the forest near the town of Molalla. Rogers was sentenced to life in prison for the stabbing death of another victim, Jennifer Lisa Smith, outside a Portland restaurant in 1987.

    If Thom accepts the jury recommendation and formally sentences Rogers to death, his case automatically will move to the first step in a 10-step appeals process that could take another 10 or 15 years.

    http://community.seattletimes.nwsour...erialkiller04m

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    Killer Rogers' death sentence under review

    When the Oregon Supreme Court meets Jan. 12 to review the death sentence for serial killer Dayton Leroy Rogers, only three sitting justices will take part.

    They are Chief Justice Paul De Muniz and Justices Robert Durham and Martha Walters the only ones who have not worked for the Oregon Department of Justice.

    The four who have worked in that agency are not participating. They are Jack Landau and Tom Balmer, both former No. 2 officials in the agency; and Rives Kistler and Virginia Linder, who have represented the state in civil and criminal appeals.

    However, two others will sit on the high court just for the Rogers case, so there will be five voting members. One is Rick Haselton, a judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals, and the other is W. Michael Gillette, who was a justice of the Supreme Court from 1986 until he retired a year ago.

    Although it's not unusual for a justice to decline to sit in judgment on a case, particularly if the justice had a connection with it while in the Department of Justice or the lower courts, it is unusual to have four justices do so.

    Although none of the four justices have worked in the Justice Department for years all of them left between 1993 and 1999 the Rogers case has run almost 25 years.

    Rogers, now 58, was convicted and sentenced to death in 1989 for the murders of six women he raped, tortured and mutilated in 1987. He was known as the "Molalla forest killer," because seven bodies were found buried in a forest. One woman never was identified.

    Rogers was convicted of aggravated murder, but not sentenced to death, in connection with the death of another woman. He had been in custody for that crime when investigators turned up evidence of the other victims.

    The Oregon Supreme Court has overturned Rogers' death sentence twice.

    In 1992, the high court did so in the aftermath of a U.S. Supreme Court decision requiring juries to consider other factors in capital punishment sentencing. A Clackamas County jury sentenced him to death in 1994.

    In 2000, the high court did so again because the jury considered only the options of death and life in prison with the possibility of parole. The court, while upholding the murder convictions, ruled that a third option to be considered was life without the possibility of parole. The justices ruled that the trial judge erred in barring the jury from considering it.

    Rogers' latest death sentence, now under automatic review by the high court, dates to 2006.

    None of the current justices was on the court in 1992.

    Durham who wrote the court's opinion in 2000 is the sole remaining justice of six who took part in that decision. The seventh was Ted Kulongoski, who could not take part because he was attorney general when the state began its defense of Rogers' 1994 death sentence.

    With the addition of the retired Gillette as a temporary member, there will be two participants from the 2000 proceeding on the court.

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/arti...%7Ctext%7CNews

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    Oregon Serial Killer Appeals Death Sentence

    The Oregon Supreme Court is considering the latest death-row appeal from the state's most prolific serial killer, centering on a claim from his attorneys that a Clackamas County trial judge erred in the jury-selection process.

    The attorneys for Dayton Leroy Rogers said Thursday the trial judge's order precluding Rogers from learning the identities of potential jurors undercut his ability to help his attorneys pick an impartial jury, the Salem Statesman Journal reports.

    The 58-year-old Rogers, housed on death row at the Oregon State Penitentiary, did not attend Thursday's court proceeding.

    Gov. John Kitzhaber has issued a moratorium on death sentences.

    Rogers was convicted in 1989 of killing six women two years earlier. Since then, the court has twice struck down death sentences imposed on him.

    http://news.opb.org//article/oregon-...eath-sentence/

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    State supreme court vacates death sentence for Dayton Leroy Rogers

    The Oregon Supreme Court today vacated the death penalty imposed on Oregon's most prolific serial killer, sending his case back to Clackamas County Circuit court for resentencing.

    Dayton Leroy Rogers, dubbed the "Molalla Forest Killer," was found guilty in 1988 and 1989 of killing seven prostitutes and dumping six of their bodies in the woods near Molalla. He has been on -- and off -- Death Row ever since, while his attorneys have filed a series of appeals.

    In its ruling, the state's high court said Clackamas County Circuit Judge Ronald D. Thom erred when ordered certain "juror anonymity" procedures that precluded Rogers and his defense attorneys from learning the identities of potential jurors, undercutting their ability to help pick an impartial jury.

    The high court also said Thom erred when he admitted testimony during the penalty phase about a homosexual relationship Rogers had as a teenager.

    The court said the jury error was sufficient grounds for reversal. The court declined to decide whether the testimony error was an independent ground for reversal.

    Gregory D. Horner, Clackamas County chief deputy district attorney, said the ruling came as a surprise.

    "Basically, we're shocked by the court's opinion," he said. "It's extremely disappointing."

    Horner said prosecutors had not yet determined how they will respond to the ruling.

    Meanwhile, Rogers, 58, formerly a Canby lawnmower repairman, remains in the Oregon State Penitentiary, awaiting an order for execution by lethal injection. When -- or even if -- that would be carried out is in doubt because Gov. John Kitzhaber has declared a moratorium on executions while he is in office.

    Rogers' case has kept judges and attorneys busy. He has been sentenced to death three times, twice after appeals that cited errors in circuit court proceedings. The last resentencing was in 2006, placing Rogers back on Death Row.

    During his trial, Rogers was convicted of seven murders and sentenced to death for six of them. An eighth victim found in the woods was never identified.

    Jurors heard graphic details of how Rogers drove his victims along old logging roads in the Mount Hood National Forest, south of Molalla, then shared vodka and orange juice with them. While engaging in sex, he hogtied, stabbed and tortured the women -- even sawing off some victims' feet.

    Jurors also saw photos of decomposing bodies that Rogers dumped in the woods.

    Since his conviction, Rogers has been a well-behaved inmate. Defense attorneys have noted that prison that officials trust him to cut the hair of other inmates. However, prosecutors say his behavior is part of an elaborate plan to manipulate the system.

    http://www.oregonlive.com/oregon-cit...acates_de.html
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Dayton Leroy Rogers has been in & out of court for 40 years

    Dayton Leroy Rogers has spent the past four decades in and out of courtrooms, including three jury trials to determine his sentence in the 1987 Molalla forest murders.

    1972: Pleads guilty, at age 18, to 2nd-degree assault in Lane County Circuit Court for telling a 15-year-old Eugene girl to close her eyes, then plunging a knife into her belly.

    1973: Found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect after striking two Lane County girls with a soft-drink bottle. Released from the Oregon State Hospital in 1974.

    1976: Acquitted in May of 1st-degree rape in Clackamas County. Acquitted in August on a new rape charge in Marion County; convicted in the Marion County case of coercion after hogtying 2 teenage hitchhikers in the back of his car.

    1988: Convicted in Clackamas County and later sentenced to life in prison for the torture and stabbing death of Jennifer Lisa Smith of Portland outside an Oak Grove restaurant.

    1989: Convicted and sentenced to death in Clackamas County Circuit Court for killing 6 women in what were known as the Molalla forest murders.

    1992: Wins a 2nd penalty trial when the Oregon Supreme Court overturns his death sentence, based on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said defendants in capital cases can offer evidence that might persuade the jury to sentence them to prison rather than death.

    1994: Sentenced a 2nd time to death for the Molalla forest murders.

    2000: Wins a 3rd penalty trial in Clackamas County when the Oregon Supreme Court overturns his 1994 death sentence, saying that the judge should have let the jury consider sentencing him to life without the possibility of parole, an option that did not exist in his 1st trial.

    2006: A 3rd Clackamas County jury sentences Rogers to death.

    2012: Oregon State Supreme Court vacates death sentence, orders resentencing in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

    (source: The Oregonian)
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Victim of Oregon serial killer Dayton Leroy Rogers finally laid to rest after 26 years

    As her thoughts turned to renewal and hope each spring, Cherrie Letter would call the funeral home to ask about the murdered prostitute. For 26 years the answer remained the same. The young woman's family never claimed her ashes. They languished in a simple urn stored on a shelf.

    But Letter couldn't forget Jennifer Lisa Smith. The two were forever connected by what happened one night in 1987.

    That Friday in August, Smith's screams brought Letter running out the door of an Oak Grove restaurant where she was talking with a friend. Letter saw the 25-year-old Smith lying naked in the parking lot -- the final victim of Oregon's most prolific serial killer Dayton Leroy Rogers.

    Letter knelt beside the bleeding woman, trying to stanch the flow from the wicked stab wounds, telling her to hang on until help arrived. But Smith died at the hospital.

    The killer had taken off in his truck, chased by a man in a car. Rogers raced through Milwaukie and Gladstone at speeds up to 100 mph. But the man was able to note the license plate to the pickup and deputies arrested Rogers that afternoon. A fingerprint matching Smith's right ring finger was found on the outside of the truck's passenger door. The case led to Rogers' conviction and he's now in the Oregon State Penitentiary.

    Letter, 32 at the time, learned that Smith's body went to Finley-Sunset Hills Mortuary off of U.S. 26. She sent flowers and a card to the funeral home for Smith's family.

    "I expressed my sorrow," she recalled. "I wanted her family to know that she was a brave woman who fought for her life. I wanted them to be comforted to know that she wasn't alone. I was there with her."

    Smith's family never replied.

    "After six months I called the funeral home," Letter said. "The card and flowers hadn't been picked up. Her ashes were still there."

    When she checked again six months later, no change.

    "All of that made me to not want Jenny to be forgotten," Letter said. "So I started calling the funeral home each year with the sense of hope that her family picked up the ashes. I prayed for Jenny and her family."

    Each year, the same call.

    And each year, the same answer.

    "I felt such profound sadness," Letter said. "No one cared."

    But she did.

    ***

    A month ago, in late February, it was time to call again. The ritual had become her way -- like the way some people light a candle in a church -- to honor Smith's memory. Long ago, Letter had realized the similarities between their two lives.

    Now 58, Letter had once worked for the Portland Police Bureau's vice squad. She was 19 and earned college class credit and a bit of money to pose as a hooker to help cops arrest customers who trolled for women like Smith, known on the streets as Gypsy Roselyn Costello. Letter knew that no girl decides to grow up and be a prostitute. Smith had been forced to make some terrible choices to survive.

    And in 1983, when Letter was in her late 20s, a man broke into her Southeast Portland home and sexually assaulted her. When she managed to escape, the intruder -- later caught and convicted -- chased her down, stabbed her five times and beat her in a parking lot, breaking her collarbone and smashing her head onto the pavement.

    This year, Letter made the call with a sense of urgency. Cancerous tumors have spread through her body. While doctors plot a course of action, Letter -- divorced with a daughter and granddaughter and living near Lincoln City -- feels time is precious.

    "The clock is ticking and I'm not sure how many ticks I have left," she said. "Her own people never came to get her. When I go, everyone will have forgotten about Jenny."

    Letter said she started to recount her tale to the funeral home receptionist and was transferred to Evone Manzella, the mortuary manager hired six months earlier after moving from California.

    "The call seemed strange," Manzella said. "It was almost hard to believe the story. But there was something in her voice that touched me."

    Before getting into the funeral industry, Manzella had worked as a 9-1-1 dispatcher in Northern California. One call in particular haunts her.

    "A young woman was being attacked and got away to call for help," she said. "I took it. She was on the phone with me when the attacker chased her down. I heard her die."

    Manzella took Letter's telephone number and said she'd get back to her.

    After checking the Internet to verify Letter's account of Smith's murder, Manzella found a ledger book in the mortuary's office safe. She flipped through the pages and found Smith's name. Her unclaimed cremated remains had been at the home longer than anyone on record.

    A file showed that in 1987 Smith's parents had paid to have the mortuary take care of their daughter's body. When they didn't pick up the remains, the funeral home left phone messages and sent certified mail. They never responded. At a certain point, the mortuary decided to wait for them to come forward.

    Manzella was moved by what she found out.

    "I'm a mom," she said. "I would hope that no child is ever forgotten."

    She was also impressed with Letter.

    "Here's this woman who has been carrying this burden for so long," she said. "The right thing was to do something for both of these women."

    Manzella took the story and the records to the funeral home managers. Her bosses were amazed that someone who wasn't a family member had cared for so long. They donated a niche in the ornate mausoleum and provided a bronze faceplate engraved with Smith's name, birthday and the day she died.

    When the paperwork had been completed, Manzella called Letter. They planned a memorial service for a day last week. Letter said she'd be there, along with two members of the clergy she asked to say a few words.

    But about 15 minutes before the service, the receptionist told Manzella that Letter had called to say that one of her tumors had put pressure on her adrenal gland, causing her blood pressure to skyrocket and her heart to race. As a precaution, doctors wanted her spend the night in the hospital.

    Three days later, when Letter felt better, the funeral home held a second memorial.

    As services go, it was the smallest in the funeral home's history: Letter, Manzella and a couple employees, one of whom would screw the faceplate over the niche.

    Standing before the wall where Smith's remains would be laid to rest, Letter reached into her purse and pulled out a small piece of blood amber in the shape of a heart that she found at the beach more than 25 years ago. She opened the urn's lid, set the amber inside and closed it again.

    "This," she said, "goes with her."

    After the urn was placed in the niche and the faceplate solid, Letter walked to her car and pulled out 25 white helium-filled balloons.

    Each one represented a year in Smith's life.

    She let them loose.

    "Fly, Jenny," she said. "Fly."

    http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamasc...al_killer.html
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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    Senior Member Member Johnya's Avatar
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    It has been over a year since Rogers' case was sent back by the Oregon Supreme Court for re-sentencing for a fourth time. Does anyone know of any update to this case?

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    Ore. serial killer Rogers gets 4th try to avoid death

    Dayton Leroy Rogers, Oregon's most prolific serial killer, gets a fourth chance to avoid a death penalty with a sentencing phase retrial that began Tuesday in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

    Over the years, some witnesses have died. But proxy witnesses will read earlier testimony of the deceased, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Greg Horner.

    Rogers was convicted in 1989 of killing six women two years earlier. Since then, the court has three times struck down death sentences imposed on him.

    Prosecutors said the former Canby lawnmower repairman tortured, stabbed and mutilated his victims, dumping them in a forest near Molalla in Clackamas County. Seven victims were found at that site. One of them was finally identified in 2013.

    Before that murder case, he was also found guilty of murdering a woman whose body was found in 1987 in parking lot behind an Oak Grove Denny's.

    The state Supreme Court struck down Rogers' death sentences in 1992, 2000 and 2012.

    The first time was to comply with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that invalidated the state's death penalty law.

    The second time, the high court ruled the jury incorrectly considered only the options of death and life in prison with the possibility of parole. There should have been a third option: life without the chance of parole.

    The third time, the court ruled jury selection was done improperly.

    http://www.kgw.com/story/news/local/...eath/73869092/
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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