A New Jersey jury found a former nurse guilty of murdering and dismembering two men whose body parts were discovered along New Jersey highways in the early ’90s.
Richard W. Rogers Junior, who had been a nurse for 20 years at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, faces up to life in prison with a minimum of 30 years without parole for the murders of Thomas Mulcahy, a married bisexual businessman from Massachusetts, and Anthony Marrero, a gay hustler from Manhattan.
According to reports from Gay.com, Mulcahy disappeared in New York City after a business trip on July 8, 1992. He was last seen at a bar called the Townhouse, a bar Rogers frequented. Mulcahy’s dismembered body parts were discovered two days later at a state Department of Transportation maintenance yard.
Marrero’s dismembered body was discovered in plastic bags on May 10, 1993.
Investigators in the case got a break in 2001 when Maine authorities matched Rogers’ prints to those on the bags that contained Mulcahy’s and Marrero’s dismembered remains through an online automated fingerprint identification system.
Rogers’ fingerprints were on file because he was tried in November 1973 for killing his graduate school roommate at the University of Maine. Rogers was acquitted in that hammer-beating death after claiming self-defense.
Clarence Patton, the executive director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, called the conviction “great news.”
“What we’re hoping is now that authorities have got him on these two murders, police will be able to connect the dots on past murders he may have committed,” Patton tolk Gay.com. “There have been indications that he has been at it since he was a young man so it seems like he has an awful lot to account for.”
Rogers is a suspect in three other murders in other states.
“So many people kill gays and lesbians and they get away with it. This case shows that does not have to happen,” Patton said.
Rogers’ attorney, David Ruhnke, said he plans to appeal. He argued prosecutors charged the wrong person.
Ruhnke also tried to convince the jury that it could not convict Rogers of the crimes because the state could not prove they occurred in New Jersey.
However, Judge James Citta ruled the trial could proceed in New Jersey because the bodies were found there.
Rogers is scheduled to be sentenced January 26th. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.
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