According to court documents James Rogers would break into the home of seventy five year old Grace Perry. The elderly woman would be sexually assaulted, robbed and murdered
James Rogers would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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MAJOR OFFENSE: MURDER
MOST RECENT INSTITUTION: GA DIAG CLASS PRISON
MAX POSSIBLE RELEASE DATE: DEATH
James Rogers Case
At approximately 11:45 p.m. on May 21, 1980, Edith Polston, the assault victim, returned from work to the home she shared with the murder victim, Grace Perry. She found a rake on the front steps with a liquid substance on the handle and Ms. Perry lying on a bedroom floor.
Before she could summon the police, she was seized from behind, forced to remove her clothing and to lie down beside Ms. Perry. She then was taken outside and struck in the face. She managed to escape, and the police were called.
The first investigating officer arrived on the scene at approximately eleven minutes after midnight on the morning of May 22, 1980, and found Rogers attempting to climb a fence at the rear of the victim’s property. The officer employed moderate force to subdue Rogers, then handcuffed Rogers to the railing of the front porch while he began a search of the house.
He found Ms. Perry lying naked on the floor of a bedroom with a large puddle of blood between her legs. He then gave Rogers Miranda warnings and placed him in a patrol car for transportation to police headquarters.
Rogers’ mother came to the crime scene. Ms. Polston overheard Rogers tell his mother, “Ma — Mama, I’m gone this time; I’m gone.” En route to the police station, Rogers volunteered that he had killed Ms. Perry but “there’s not anything you can do about it, I’m crazy and I’ve got papers to prove it.”
The autopsist testified that an external examination of the victim’s body revealed a large amount of dry blood on the legs and traumatic infliction of wounds on the lower portion of the body. An internal examination disclosed a laceration to the back exterior portion of the vagina, which was approximately an inch and a half long.
The autopsy further revealed a total perforation of the wall of the vagina. This perforation also extended through the liver, the diaphragm and into the right lung. The autopsist testified that the perforation caused a sudden and massive hemorrhaging into the right chest cavity which, in turn, caused the death of the victim.
Testimony indicated that the trauma to the victim’s body was consistent with the use by the assailant of a blunt instrument in the shape of a pole which was at least two feet long and no more than two inches in diameter. Testimony indicated that the trauma would have required a considerable, purposeful force to be employed. The officer who recovered the rake from the front porch testified that two to four feet of the rake’s handle was covered with what appeared to be blood and other fluid.
A fingerprint taken from the handle of the rake subsequently was identified as Rogers’. Human blood found on the handle of the rake, and hairs found on Rogers’ body, were consistent with Ms. Perry’s. Bite marks on one of Rogers’ arms were consistent with the dentures worn by the elderly victim.
The sufficiency of the evidence was not raised on appeal. However, we have reviewed the evidence pursuant to Rule IV (B) (2) of the Unified Appeal Procedure, and find it sufficient to sustain the convictions. Jackson v. Virginia, 443 U. S. 307 (99 SC 2781, 61 LE2d 560) (1979).