Attorney: murdered TV personality worried about past
ST. GABRIEL - Wednesday ended with the man accused of murdering a local TV personality clinging to life in a hospital room, being kept alive with a ventilator.
Scott Rogers, host of the Around Town TV show, was found dead in his home. Another man, Mathew Hodgkinson, is accused of shooting Rogers and then turning the gun on himself. Hodgkinson survived the shot and was rushed to a hospital where he remained Wednesday night.
Rogers' home is on Daisy Avenue. He lives there with his adopted son, a foster child and Hodgkinson, who is also his son-in-law.
Rogers attorney, who arrived at the scene shortly after authorities, was visibly shaken by what he found.
"What else do you say? I came and I thought I was going to talk to a person and not anymore," attorney Seth Dornier said. Dornier added, Rogers was going through legal trouble recently.
"There was just a lot going on and a lot that was unknown and a lot that we won't know," he said.
It was revealed after the murder that authorities responded to Rogers' residence earlier this week after he took a large number of sleeping pills. At the time, Rogers told deputies he took too many pills to help him fall asleep.
But, Rogers was worried about people finding out about his life in England. His lawyer told WBRZ News 2, he had to leave his home country after being exonerated on child molestation charges due to embarrassment the trial brought.
Dornier said Rogers ran a performing arts academy about 60 to 70 miles outside London. According to the attorney, Rogers expelled a 13-year-old boy for drugs. The child, worried his future in the arts was ruined, lied about being molested by Rogers, Dornier said. Dornier added, the boy confessed to making the story up during a trial.
After the trial, Rogers moved to London and opened a new school, Dornier said. But, word spread and parents removed their children so Rogers moved to the United States under a new name. He chose Scott, his attorney told WBRZ News 2.
Dornier said Rogers was worried the previous issues were about to return and was concerned they would destroy him. He vowed to not let that happen and canceled his community talk show earlier this week. It was not clear why Rogers was worried the situation from decades ago would come to light in 2014.
Before cancelling his show, the state took his adopted son and foster child from his custody. Rogers was also the focus of a grand jury inquiry, and sources said both his biological daughter and Hodgkinson testified Wednesday. Hodgkinson testified immediately before the murder, and it appears he left the court and went straight to Rogers' home in Iberville Parish. Shortly after his arrival, a neighbor heard gunshots and called 911.
Deputies used Hodgkinson's work immigration card to identify him in the crime scene.
Dornier said he believes Rogers' recent trouble may also be connected to how he completed adoption papers. Rogers suggested on the documents he has never been arrested, when he should have marked that he had been. Dornier said the paperwork was confusing and may have been confusing to Rogers, who had been arrested but never convicted.
WBRZ's Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto contributed to this report.