Ottawa man accused of killing parents claims father sexually abused him
Mistrial declared in 1st-degree murder trial of Cameron Rogers
An Ottawa man accused of killing his parents now alleges his father sexually assaulted him, and claims he was defending himself the day he beat and stabbed him to death, his lawyer has confirmed.
Cameron Rogers is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of 69-year-old Dave Rogers, a retired Ottawa Citizen reporter, and 63-year-old Merrill Gleddie Rogers, a retired public servant, on Nov. 29, 2016, at the family's home on Apeldoorn Avenue in Carleton Heights.
He previously pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter, but Crown prosecutors rejected the plea.
Rogers, 24, confessed both to a 911 operator and in a police interview that the crimes were fuelled by his anger toward his adoptive parents, who he felt were overbearing and didn't allow him to make his own decisions.
Lawyer requested mistrial
Rogers's lawyer, Joseph Addelman, requested a mistrial last week after learning of his client's new allegations against his father, which threw the defence into a tailspin.
The Crown initially rejected that request, but in light of the new information, which is contained in the report of a psychiatrist who was due to testify at the trial, it became clear neither side would be able to conclude their cases by the original end date of Dec. 21.
A survey of the six-man, six-woman jury revealed three of the jurors, including one who's moving to the United States for employment, will not be able to continue serving if the trial extends into January or February.
Because at least 10 jurors are needed to continue, a mistrial was declared Monday and the jury was discharged.
'Matters of expediency'
Outside the courthouse, Addelman said it makes sense to continue the trial with Ontario Superior Court Justice Kevin Phillips alone because the Crown has finished presenting its case.
"There's matters of expediency, and that way the matter doesn't get overly delayed," he said. "This judge has heard the evidence."
Prosecutors have requested more time to consider Addelman's application. The Crown said the evidence in the psychiatrist's report represents "a significant shifting in the facts," and it would need to seek expert opinion to decide how to challenge the new information.
"The family is disappointed that it's not going to resolve at this time, and clearly it's difficult for them. They've put their lives on hold to be here everyday," said Ottawa police Det. Chris Benson, speaking on behalf of Merrill Gleddie Rogers, after the mistrial was declared.
"But they have confidence in the administration of justice," Benson said.
The court will reconvene Wednesday. If the Crown rejects continuing with a judge-only trial, it could be another year before a new jury trial gets underway.