The California Supreme Court refused Wednesday to review the case of a former nursing student convicted of murdering his instructor, whose body was found buried in his back yard.
Jackie Jerome Rogers of Lennox is serving a 26-year-to-life term for the Dec. 18, 2016, killing of Lisa Marie Naegle of San Pedro, who taught a nursing assistant class and appeared as a contestant on the E! Entertainment Television series “Bridalplasty” in 2010.
Rogers was convicted of first-degree murder in September 2018.
In an Aug. 7 ruling, a three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal noted that Rogers confessed to killing Naegle and burying the 36-year-old victim’s body in a shallow grave covered with dirt and manure in the back yard of the home where he lived with his parents.
Rogers — who testified that he had an affair with the married woman — claimed he “just snapped” and struck her over the head with a hammer while the two were inside his car, according to the appellate court panel’s 22-page ruling.
“After Rogers hit Naegle with the hammer in the car over and over until she could no longer recover, he drove her to his backyard. He put her in a wheelbarrow, dug a grave to fit her, dumped her in it, and then coolly hit her twice in the back of the head when she moved, to make sure she was dead,” the appellate court justices noted. “Rogers’s own testimony about the final hammer blows is substantial evidence supporting his conviction of first degree murder.”
The appellate court panel found that “the evidence overwhelmingly supports the jury’s verdict” in Rogers’ case.
Rogers’ trial attorney, Jeremy Lessem, told jurors during the trial that his client — whom he said has developmental disabilities — snapped after “repeated mental abuse over a six-month period.”
Far from ready to leave her husband for Rogers, Naegle was going in for in-vitro fertilization appointments the week before she was killed, Deputy District Attorney Allyson Ostrowski told jurors.
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