A Carencro man who had been charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 death of his girlfriend’s child decided Friday it was better to spend four decades in prison than risk a life sentence, one of his attorneys said.
Bryant Rogers, 27, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was sentenced to 40 years in prison by 15th District Judge Patrick Michot, the maximum penalty for a manslaughter conviction, attorney Thomas Alonzo said.
“The state took life off the table, and (Rogers) agreed to the sentence,” Alonzo said.
In making the plea agreement ,Rogers avoided a trial where, if convicted of first-degree murder, the only sentence available to Judge Michot would be life. Prosecutors said in 2014 they would not pursue the death penalty, which is a possible sentence for first-degree murder.
Rogers has been locked up at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center since his arrest.
Former girlfriend Karin Dupuis, 26, remains in the Correctional Center on a charge of second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. Dupuis was expected to testify against Rogers.
Rogers was arrested after 11-month-old Carson Dupuis was found unresponsive and pronounced dead on April 4, 2014.
During the hours of questioning by detectives, Rogers was “in what appeared to be an altered state,” Rogers’ other attorney, David Rubin, wrote in a December motion. Rubin and Alonzo filed the court document in an effort to keep the statements from being introduced as evidence at a trial.
Rogers told detectives that Carson spent the day before with him and that the boy fell out of a vehicle and hit his head.
Rogers also told police that at one point, he grabbed the boy by his neck.
While paramedics and police were at the Carencro mobile home where Rogers, Dupuis and the boy lived, where, according to court papers, Carson was found “cold to the touch,” Rogers looked for a place to sleep. Later, in a Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office interrogation room, Rogers again tried to find a place to sleep.
“Throughout the interrogation, when deputies were out of the room, (Rogers) moaned and screamed,” Rubin said in court papers.