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Rhykem Rogers

A Baker man who accidentally shot his girlfriend to death in 2018 while firing at his brother's dog will be sentenced Friday.

Rhykem Rogers, 29, pleaded guilty in June to negligent homicide and faces a sentence ranging from probation to five years in prison in the killing of Cherish Faith Smith.

Smith, 23, of Baker, had given birth to the couple's daughter three weeks before the Feb. 25, 2018, shooting.

Rogers had been out with his brother and mother drinking and returned with his brother to the couple's home on McHugh Road in Baker, where his brother often stayed, an arrest report states.

Rogers demanded that his brother leave after the two men got into a heated argument. Rogers then released his brother's pit bull from the backyard and started shooting at the dog with a semi-automatic handgun as the dog ran across the street, the report says.

Rogers fired four or five rounds, missing the dog but accidentally hitting Smith, authorities said. She was shot in the stomach about 4:20 a.m. and died at a hospital.

Police later found a black 9 mm handgun across the street from Rogers and Smith's home. Rogers told detectives the gun was his, the report states.

An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted Rogers on the negligent homicide charge in late 2018.

Rogers will appear Friday before state District Judge Tarvald Smith for sentencing.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.