Prosecutors reject son's plea in double-murder trial

Crown prosecutors have rejected a plea of manslaughter by an Ottawa man on trial for two counts of first-degree murder in the violent deaths of his parents.

Cameron Rogers, 24, accused of killing his parents in November 2016

Cameron Rogers was arrested in Montreal and later charged with two counts of first-degree murder after the bodies of his parents were found behind their home in Ottawa. (Laurie Foster-Macleod/CBC)

Crown prosecutors have rejected a plea of manslaughter by an Ottawa man on trial for two counts of first-degree murder in the violent deaths of his parents.

Cameron Rogers, 24, is accused of killing 69-year-old Dave Rogers, a retired Ottawa Citizen reporter, and 63-year-old Merrill Gleddie Rogers, a retired public servant, in November 2016 at the family's home in Carleton Heights. 

With the Crown's rejection of Rogers's plea, the trial, scheduled to last six weeks, got underway Thursday. 

In his opening statement, Crown prosecutor Matthew Geigen-Miller said Rogers murdered his parents by beating and stabbing them with three knives and a wooden sword he had made. 

As for his alleged motive, the Crown claimed the younger man was unhappy because he felt "he didn't have a say in his life." He didn't like the program he was studying at Algonquin College and was frustrated by not having his own money, Geigen-Miller said. 

Used homemade sword, Crown alleges

The killings took place on the morning of Nov. 20, 2016.

"He was going back and forth about whether to do it, and he spent an hour thinking and planning," Geigen-Miller said. "Then he decided to do it."

He told the jury Rogers hit his mother in the back of her head with the sword he had made, then stabbed her several times in the neck and back. 

When Dave Rogers rushed into the kitchen to investigate the commotion, Cameron turned on his father, hitting and stabbing him in the head, the Crown alleged. A deep stab wound to the older man's back proved fatal, prosecutors said. 

'He left her to die on the kitchen floor'

While Rogers attacked his father, Crown prosecutors allege his mother was still alive.

Cameron Rogers "knew she was alive and in pain," Geigen-Miller said, "but he left her there to die on the kitchen floor."

The Crown said the accused had "challenges" in school and said he described himself as having "slight autism," but argued he "enjoyed a life of comfort" provided by parents, who were elated when they adopted him as a baby in 1994. 

After killing his parents, Rogers hid their bodies behind a shed in the backyard and stayed alone in the house for a week, the Crown said. 

He then bought a train ticket to Washington, D.C., but was turned back in Montreal by a U.S. border official. 

Called 911 to confess: Crown

A few days later Rogers called 911 in Montreal and confessed to the killings. A recording of that call was played in court.

Montreal police Const. Jeffrey St-Onge testified Rogers broke down and told him, "l killed my parents two weeks ago at home in Ottawa, and the bodies are behind the shed in the backyard. I did it with a knife." 

Throughout the testimony Rogers, dressed in a black suit with his hair shaved close, sat in the prisoner's box. 

The trial is scheduled to resume Friday.