An attorney for a Carencro man jailed in the April killing of his girlfriend’s toddler son is asking a judge to move Bryant Rogers away from other inmates at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.
Rogers wants to avoid contact with potential informants, or “jailhouse snitches,” who could lie on the witness stand and send Rogers to death row, according to a motion in Rogers’ case, filed this week by one of his court-appointed attorneys, Thomas Alonzo.
Alonzo also is asking state District Judge John Trahan, who will preside over Rogers’ potential death penalty trial, to order jail officials to make sure none of the hundreds of other inmates at the Correctional Center talks to Rogers.
“We just want to make sure our client is protected,” Thomas said Thursday.
Alonzo and Rogers’ other attorneys “wanted to take measures to assure that no jailhouse snitches are created in this case,” according to the motion.
The motion states informants many times lie to get their own sentences cut short.
“(Rogers) has absolutely no intention of talking to anyone but his lawyers about the facts of the case, although he has been approached by other inmates during his incarceration,” Alonzo said.
Rogers, 25, has been in the parish jail since he was arrested April 4 by Lafayette Parish sheriff’s deputies, who found 11-month-old Carson Dupuis unresponsive.
The boy died at a Carencro residence Rogers shared with the child’s mother, Karin Dupuis. Dupuis told deputies and emergency personnel that her son stopped breathing sometime the night before. Detectives arrested the couple that day.
On April 23, grand jury indictments charged Rogers with first-degree murder and Dupuis with criminal negligence.
Rogers is being held without bail, while Dupuis’ bond was set at $250,000. She also remains in jail.
Sheriff’s Capt. Kip Judice said Carson died from trauma brought on by prolonged abuse.
“Because this case has death penalty potential, exacting standards must be met,” Alonzo said in the motion, filed Wednesday.
Rogers’ refusal to talk to others in the jail is not enough, Alonzo said. He said there’s no way to prevent an inmate from concocting a story about a jail cell confession that paints the defendant guilty and which prosecutors buy into.
“He is therefore justifiably nervous that someone in the cell with him will simply make up a story,” according to the motion.
The motion leans heavily on court decisions relating to the death penalty.
“The death penalty is unique in its irrevocability,” Alonzo wrote, citing federal appellate court decisions.
Rogers’ next scheduled hearing is Sept. 4 in Judge Trahan’s courtroom.