Shooting victim’s mother: DA shouldn’t charge friend
Post Independent Staff
The mother of Robert “Bobby” Rogers – the 23-year-old who Carbondale police said was accidentally shot and killed by his friend Jessie Brooks on April 2 – doesn’t want to see Brooks go to jail.
Rogers’ mother, Las Vegas resident Donna Knight, e-mailed a letter to the Post Independent on Easter Sunday. She called the shooting an accident and implored prosecutors not to try to send Brooks to jail.
In the letter, Knight wrote that Brooks and Rogers were “the best of friends before this tragic accident, and I cannot rest knowing this young man who loved my son as a brother will have to spend time in jail.”
On Tuesday, Knight said she received a letter from the 9th District Attorney’s Office asking if she would like to file a lawsuit against Brooks and another letter informing her that she might be sent a subpoena to testify in court against Brooks.
“I’m still in a headspin over all this,” she said. “I feel so bad for Jessie Brooks.”
She said the letters from the DA’s office are “hurting me as much as my son’s death.”
“I really want him to know I’m not going to sue him,” Knight said of Brooks. “I just want my son to rest in peace. I have no intention of standing up against Jessie Brooks.”
District Attorney Mac Myers said the Colorado Crime Victims Rights Act compels his office to send general victim information to the families of victims – in this case, Donna Knight. He said the information Knight received is contained in the general crime victims rights package.
Although Knight does not want Brooks to go to jail, Myers said his office needs to go strictly by the book.
“We look at the evidence and try to apply the correct law,” he said. “We charge on the evidence we have at the time of charging. It’s the only way we can be fair and even-handed with people.”
Generally, requests for mercy are usually considered by the judge at the sentencing hearing, if a suspect is convicted.
“Certain victim wishes have a huge and compelling role in sentencing,” Myers said.
Knight shared some final reflections about her son Bobby, who was just released from the Garfield County Jail after serving a sentence for drunken driving and other charges.
“Bobby had a very tender heart. He always believed in God,” Knight said. “My son became very close to the Lord during the last two months of his life. I know this because of the letters he wrote me. I choose to believe it was my son’s time to go, his work here was over and God called him home.
“The last time I heard my son’s voice was on the day he was released from jail. It was a message that he left on my answering machine. He said, `I’m at Jessie’s, my friend Jessie’s. I’ll be home soon. I love you.’
“My son is home, he’s safely home in heaven. Please let him rest in peace.”
Contact Greg Masse: 945-8515, ext. 511
A mother’s plea
Editor’s note: Following is the letter Donna Knight submitted to the Post Independent, imploring prosecutors not to file charges against the man accused of shooting and killing her son.
I’m writing this in regards to the case against Jessie McDaniel Brooks. I am the mother of 23-year-old Robert “Bobby” Rogers. I don’t know if my feelings can or will influence your judgment on this case, but I would like to share them with you.
Jessie and Bobby were the best of friends before this tragic accident and I can not rest knowing this young man who loved my son as a brother will have to spend time in jail. Bobby is gone from this earth and nothing will bring him back, but he lives in the hearts of all those who loved him, including Jessie.
This was a tragedy for those who loved Bobby. One young life is already gone, PLEASE don’t let it claim two. Jessie has been through enough and his heart is burdened with guilt. Putting him in jail will do justice for no one. I beg you to let this nightmare be over for everyone and let my son rest in peace knowing his best friend is O.K.
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