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Gainesville man sentenced to 3 years in prison for shooting at neighbor

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Jack Lance Rogers, 57, has been sentenced to three years in state prison for aggravated assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Alachua County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a call on November 18, 2021, from a property on SE CR 2082; the caller reported he had been shot at by a man he identified as Lance Rogers. The victim said he had been walking toward his car when he heard two shots and got into his vehicle. He said he backed his vehicle up, pointed his headlights in the direction of the shots, and saw a white male wearing a brown shirt and pointing a pistol at him. When the victim ducked behind the steering wheel, he heard another shot fired. The victim reported that he yelled, “Stop shooting at me!” and when he looked again, he saw the man grab a beer off a fence post, get in a tow truck, and drive into the woods. The victim said he believed that if the shooter had been sober, he would have been killed.

A woman who lives at the property where the shooting took place said she heard shots and saw a man she knew as Lance Rogers get into a tow truck and drive into the woods.

The Sheriff’s helicopter located a tow truck on the property next door to the shooting location with a hot engine compartment, as if recently driven. A person was seen walking near the tow truck, and then deputies observed the tow truck driving toward them as they were attempting to make contact with that person, who was later identified as Rogers. Rogers was wearing a brown shirt when deputies made contact with him. Rogers did not comply with commands to get on the ground, and he was bitten by a K-9 before being taken into custody. In the cab of the tow truck, deputies located 2 boxes of ammunition and several shotgun shells. In the engine compartment of the tow truck, they found a .38 revolver and a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. Rogers previously had three felony convictions for burglary, battery, and larceny/grand theft.

Rogers’ attorney asked the court to suppress the evidence found in the truck because deputies did not have a warrant to surveil Rogers’ property with aerial infrared technology and that deputies entered his property without a warrant after he was apprehended and bitten by the K-9 while on his own property. The attorney also claimed that deputies asked Rogers questions without providing a Miranda warning. The motion was denied. Around the same date, the charge of resisting arrest was dropped.

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A jury found Rogers guilty on the remaining two charges on July 21, and he was sentenced to 3 years in state prison on each charge, the mandatory minimum, with the sentences running concurrently. He will receive 8 days credit for the time he spent in jail before posting bail.

Rogers has appealed the conviction on grounds that the judge improperly denied the motion to suppress evidence, along with denial of several other motions. Assistant State Attorney David Margulies led the prosecution team, and Judge James Colaw presided over the trial.

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