Cameron Rogers pleads guilty to second degree murder, sentenced to life in prison
Published Wednesday, December 19, 2018 10:48AM EST Last Updated Wednesday, December 19, 2018 7:08PM EST
24-year-old Cameron Rogers will spend the next 20 years behind bars before he is eligible for parole for the brutal murders of his Ottawa parents Dave Rogers and Merrill Gleddie-Rogers. It was an emotional day in court for the family of this couple who were painted as lovely people who adored their son. But their son showed absolutely no emotion as he was sent away for life.
In a chilling victim impact statement, Merrill Gleddie's brother, Graham Gleddie, described phoning his nephew at the moment of the murders on November 20, 2016 and a calm Cameron Rogers explaining everything was fine.
“I spoke to Cameron when he was in the middle of killing my sister,” Gleddie said outside court today. The family had planned a dinner to celebrate the Gleddie family’s mother turning 91 and Graham explains that Merrill had asked him to call between 2 and 4 p.m. that day. Graham said he called at 2 p.m., learning later through a police videotaped confession from Cameron that he had started murdering his parents at 11 a.m. that morning and that it had taken some time for his mother to die.
“Merrill was still alive, she was moaning on the floor of the kitchen,” he said, “He had gouged out her right eye. She had multiple stab wounds and was in great pain moaning on ground. This is a horrible family tragedy,” he added, “We never expected to find ourselves in such a situation.”
We know the 24-year-old beat and stabbed his parents to death, then stuffed his father in a suitcase, wrapped his mother in a tarp and hid the bodies in their back yard beside a shed. Court heard that Rogers then stayed in the house for a week before travelling to Montreal and ultimately trying to flee to the U.S. When he was turned around at the border,
“..he broke into a vacant building and attempted to sleep,” Crown prosecutor Matthew Geigen-Miller told court today, “He decided to turn himself in and called 9-1-1 to report the murder of his parents.
Dave Rogers, a former Ottawa Citizen reporter, and Merrill Gleddie-Rogers, a government worker, had adopted Cameron as a baby and, court heard, devoted their lives to him.
What court has never learned, though, is why Rogers, who was on the autism spectrum, murdered them.
Ottawa Police Major Crime Unit Detective Chris Benson says, “They want to hear why. Why did you do this, Cameron? And maybe one day we will (learn that) but until then, it's going to be in the back of people’s minds.”
The trial took many turns with Rogers initially being tried for first degree murder. Then, a strange twist when he told his lawyer his father had sexually abused him. A mistrial ensued until today, when he entered a guilty plea to two counts of second degree murder and admitted he had lied about being abused by Dave Rogers.
“This outcome avoids him serving having to 25 years at a minimum on a first degree murder,” Joseph Addelman, Rogers’ defense lawyer said, “and the possibility of consecutive sentencing.”
Through 24 victim impact statements, Cameron Rogers showed no emotion, not even when his uncle Stephen Gleddie addressed him directly, saying
"I won't turn my back on you Cameron. I will find a way to forgive you."
For brother Graham Gleddie, though, forgiveness doesn't come easily.
“What he did was heartless and I fear for the day he is released, I do.”
Rogers was asked if he had anything to say before being sentenced. He just shook his head and said no.
Justice Kevin Phillips suggested to him there's something deeply wrong with him and told him "you're going away for a long time."
Cameron Rogers agrees to forgo a new trial and pleads guilty to two counts of second degree murder of his parents Dave Rogers and Merrill Gleddie Rogers in November of 2016 @ctvottawa— Joanne Schnurr (@JoanneCTV) December 19, 2018
Merrill Gleddie’s younger brother Graham reads victim impact statement telling Cameron Rogers “you scare me. I fear the day you will be released”. Rogers remains expressionless. @ctvottawa— Joanne Schnurr (@JoanneCTV) December 19, 2018
Crown reads statement of facts in court record, stating that Cameron Rogers recanted his allegation that his father Dave Rogers had sexually assaulted him. @ctvottawa— Joanne Schnurr (@JoanneCTV) December 19, 2018
Brother Steven Gleddie addresses Cameron Rogers telling him that his parents had asked him to watch over Cameron. “I won’t turn my back on you,” he told court. “I will find a way to forgive you”. @ctvottawa— Joanne Schnurr (@JoanneCTV) December 19, 2018