Carbondale shooting victim had just been released from jail |

Carbondale shooting victim had just been released from jail

Lynn Burton
Special to The Aspen Times

Robert Allen “Bobby” Rogers, 23, who was shot and killed in Carbondale Wednesday, had been released from Garfield County jail earlier that day.

“He was in on eight charges,” said Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario. Those charges included DUI, aggravated motor theft, reckless endangerment, third-degree assault and theft of rented property.

“He was a tile layer, and his former address was Las Vegas,” Vallario said.

Jesse McDaniel Brooks, a 23-year-old Carbondale resident, is charged with manslaughter in Rogers’ death. Brooks posted $5,000 bail on Thursday, and will be formally charged April 16.

Arnold Mordkin, an attorney who is serving as spokesperson for the Brooks family, said Brooks and Rogers knew each other in high school. Jesse Brooks works for his father, Kasey Brooks, in a painting business, Mordkin said.

Brooks had been living with his parents at 654 Sopris Ave., and according to court documents, was moving into a house at 1360 Barber Dr. the day of the shooting.

Rogers and Brooks’ parents were helping in the move. At one point, Brooks said, he put a bag that contained an unloaded .22-caliber handgun on a kitchen counter, and Rogers found it and started playing with it, say court documents compiled from Carbondale police reports. Brooks told him to put the gun away, then took it from him.

After the moving was completed, Brooks and Rogers consumed “about six beers” between 4 and 10 p.m., documents say.

Brooks, Rogers and a third party ate dinner at Brooks’ parents home at approximately 7:30 p.m., then went to the Black Nugget at about 8 p.m., documents say. At the bar, they had “a couple of shots,” then returned to Brooks’ new residence.

When Brooks and Rogers entered the residence, Rogers got the gun again, documents say. “I pulled it, I had him in a headlock teasing him, don’t play with guns … wham, noise, body falls to the floor,” documents say Brooks told police.

According to the police affidavit, Brooks later changed his story and said he was sitting in his car earlier and loaded the gun.

Brooks also later told police that Rogers “had come up to him and put his right arm and hand around Mr. Brooks’ shoulders and head and that he thought the trigger was being pulled. Mr. Brooks stated that he grabbed Mr. Rogers’ hand and that the gun went off,” documents say.

Carbondale police officer Scott Wilhelm said in a sworn affidavit that Brooks told him, “I shot him, my best friend. We just moved in today. I didn’t mean to do nothing. People are not going to believe that I didn’t do this on purpose. Oh my God. Why did he have to come here when he got out of jail?”

Carbondale Police Chief Gene Schilling said a blood sample was taken from Brooks and was to be tested for drugs and alcohol, but the results won’t be known for about a week.

Mordkin said his client is in “extreme trauma,” and the shooting is “a terrible tragedy.”

Rogers died at the scene of the shooting. The Garfield County coroner’s office had not released its report as of Friday afternoon.

If convicted of manslaughter, Brooks faces two to 12 years in prison, said 9th Judicial District Attorney Mac Myers.

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