A Lennox man has pleaded not guilty to murdering a registered nurse and former reality show contestant whose body was found buried in a shallow grave in his back yard.
Various news reports speculated the married victim had been having an affair with her accused killer, but she had told him she was ending the relationship to remain with her husband.
Jackie Jerome Rogers, 34, is charged with the hammer beating death of Lisa Marie Naegle, who was a contestant on the E! Entertainment Television series “Bridalplasty” in 2010.
Rogers is being held on $2 million bail and is due back in court March 2 after Monday’s plea, when a date is scheduled to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial.
If convicted as charged, he could face up to 26 years to life in prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
The 36-year-old San Pedro woman went missing after leaving a party early on the morning of Dec. 18 at Alpine Village, a German restaurant in Torrance. Her family filed a missing person’s report the next day.
Naegle’s body was found Dec. 20 in Rogers’ back yard in the 5000 block of West 106th Street.
Rogers, a nursing student who accompanied Naegle to the gathering but repeatedly told her family he did not leave the party with her, told investigators where to find the body, according to police. He was arrested the same day.
According to Naegle’s husband, Derek Harryman, his wife called him around 2:45 a.m. Dec. 18 and said she was leaving the party but stopping to get something to eat on the way. She never came home and also failed to show up for nursing classes she taught at West Los Angeles College.
One of Naegle’s relatives suggested in media interviews that Naegle had spurned Rogers’ romantic advances.
TMZ.com reported that Naegle and Rogers were romantically involved, but she informed him that she had decided to break it off and stay with her husband.
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–City News Service