Attorneys for a man charged with the 2014 murder of a baby are asking a judge to suppress statements Bryant Rogers made to Lafayette Parish sheriff’s detectives after 11-month-old Carson Dupuis’ death.
Rogers, 27, was in what “appeared to be an altered state” when he was interrogated by detectives in the hours after Carson was pronounced dead on April 4, 2014, wrote his attorney, David Rubin.
Rogers’ mental state during the interrogation and the fact that he continuously tried to sleep during questioning, bolsters the argument that Rogers’ statements should not be allowed as evidence at his trial, Rubin argued.
Rogers had told a detective during his interviews that Carson fell out of a vehicle and hit his head and that he grabbed the child by his neck, according to court papers filed Nov. 12.
Rubin and Thomas Alonzo, another attorney defending Rogers, sought rulings from Judge Patrick Michot at a hearing in 15th District Court on Thursday. The judge was to rule on suppressing the statements and other requests made by Rogers’ defense team. The hearing, however, was delayed until January.
In July 2014, a grand jury indicted Rogers on one count of first-degree murder, a charge that carries a possible death sentence if convicted. However, prosecutor Michelle Billeaud filed a notice that the 15th District Attorney’s Office would not seek the death penalty.
The grand jury in July 2014 also charged Carson’s mother — 26-year-old Karin Dupuis, who is Rogers’ former girlfriend — with one count of criminal negligence.
In court papers, Rubin wrote that Rogers was subjected to a multihour interview with detectives while “Mr. Rogers appeared to be in an altered state.” Rogers also sought sleep throughout his time with police, including on the morning of April 4. That morning, deputies and ambulance medics found Carson “cold to the touch and (showing) no signs of life” in the Carencro camper where Dupuis and Carson lived with Rogers.
Even in that environment, Rogers was trying to find a place to sleep. “At some point, Mr. Rogers was observed attempting to sleep underneath a canopy on the camper,” Rubin wrote.
Rogers also “repeatedly tried to sleep in the (Sheriff’s Office) interrogation room,” Rubin wrote. “Throughout the interrogation, when deputies were out of the room, he moaned and screamed. On multiple occasions during the interrogation, Mr. Rogers appeared not to understand the detectives’ questions.”
Dupuis, who told detectives that Rogers had baby-sat Carson the day before he died, is expected to testify against Rogers at a trial in 2016. Rogers’ attorneys are asking Michot to order the District Attorney’s Office to reveal any offers of reduced prison time for Dupuis in exchange for her testimony.
If convicted of the charge of second-degree cruelty to juveniles, Dupuis faces up to 40 years in prison at hard labor.
“Mr. Rogers is not only entitled to the disclosure of any specific offers made to Ms. Dupuis in connection with her potential testimony, but is also entitled to disclosure regarding the nature of any discussions between (prosecutors) and Ms. Dupuis’ counsel regarding that potential testimony,” according to court papers.