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Killer Found Guilty in 2nd Murder Case

Courts: Glen Rogers, facing execution in Florida for one slaying and suspected of others, is convicted of killing woman he met at Valley bar. Penalty phase starts.

June 23, 1999|T. CHRISTIAN MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A jury convicted killer Glen Edward Rogers of a second murder Tuesday, then began hearing testimony on whether he should live or die.

Rogers, 37, already sentenced to death in Florida, sat immobile as the clerk announced that he had been found guilty of another first-degree murder. His brother and mother, both in the courtroom, declined to comment.

The family of Sandra Gallagher, whose strangled and burned corpse was found near Rogers' Van Nuys apartment in September 1995, also declined to comment. One relative of the victim was led weeping from court.

As the trial moved to the penalty phase, the Superior Court jury of eight women and four men learned for the first time that Rogers is suspected of killing four women over three months in 1995. They previously had heard testimony about three victims.

"The only appropriate penalty for a man who has taken all of these lives in this manner is the most severe we have in this state: the death penalty," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Pat Dixon, who added that "the defendant has no remorse, none."

Public defender Jim Coady made no opening statement in the penalty phase and declined comment.

Rogers began his spate of slayings Sept. 28, 1995, the day that Gallagher, a 33-year-old mother of three, won $1,200 in the lottery, authorities say. The two crossed paths at McRed's, a Van Nuys bar. The next day, her car was found off Victory Boulevard, her body inside.

After murdering Gallagher, Rogers fled to Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida, killing a woman in each state, authorities allege.

Cribbs, the Florida victim, was a mother of two whose stabbed body was found in a bloody bathtub in a Tampa hotel in November 1995.

Rogers is also suspected of fatally stabbing Andy Lou Jiles Sutton, 37, in Louisiana, and Linda Price, 34, in Jackson, Miss., although he has not been charged in those cases.

The slaying that jurors just learned about was that of Price. Rogers met her over beers, as he did the other women. And, like the other three, she was in her 30s, with red hair. She was found slain, like Cribbs, in a bathtub.

Rogers was caught in Kentucky after a car chase that ended not far from his family's cabin. At the time, TV broadcast images of Rogers with long hair and wild eyes.

But in court Tuesday, he wore a conservative blue suit. His beard was neatly trimmed, his hair cut above the collar. Still, Kathy Carroll, the sister of victim Price, displayed no hesitation in identifying Rogers in court Tuesday.

She said Price had met Rogers at a tent where beers were being served at the Mississippi State Fair.

She recalled that her sister said, " 'Ain't he good-looking?' She said it over and over."

Rogers and Price briefly shared an apartment in Jackson. The last time Carroll saw her sister, the night before Halloween 1995, the two were planning to have Carroll's grandchildren go trick-or-treating at Price's apartment, Carroll testified. But on Halloween, Price did not answer her door, and Rogers was gone.

Over the next few days, Carroll said, the family repeatedly tried to contact Price. Finally, they called the police. When an officer who had gone to check Price's apartment came out, he was "as white as my shirt," prosecutor Dixon said. The officer told Carroll her sister was dead. "I ran to my son's apartment, and I fainted," she said.

Regardless of Rogers' sentence here, he will be returned to Florida for execution.

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