ALBANY — Halfway through his trial for armed robbery, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, manufacturing marijuana and theft by taking, Demickey Rogers, also known as “Birdman,” disappeared.
The trial began on Tuesday morning, local law enforcement officials said, with Rogers present. However, at around 4 a.m. on Wednesday morning, the battery on the ankle monitor Rogers was wearing died, allowing him to take it off.
The company that makes and keeps track of the ankle monitors did send a notice to the court, but the notice was not received until just after 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, nearly four hours after Rogers no longer had the monitor on.
The second day of the trial was supposed to begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning, but Rogers’ defense attorney told the court he had not heard from Rogers. Rogers’ mother also testified to the court that Rogers lives with her, and when she awoke around 7 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Rogers was no longer in the house and she did not know where he had gone. Rogers’ Facebook account had also been deactivated.
The judge on the case called a recess until 1 p.m., presumably in hopes that Rogers would show up, but come 1 o’clock, he still was nowhere to be found.
Because members of the jury had already been sworn in, the trial had to continue, with or without Rogers, officials said, or double jeopardy, which says a person cannot be tried for the same charges twice, would be applicable.
The trial continued with am empty defendant’s seat through the rest of the afternoon on Wednesday. The jury then began deliberation on Thursday morning and found Rogers guilty of four of the five charges against him, with the exception of the theft by taking charge.
Because Rogers has now been convicted of armed robbery and three other charges and his whereabouts are not known, local, state and federal agencies are avidly searching for him, officials said. Anyone who sees Rogers is urged to notify the police immediately.
Rogers will be sentenced for the four charges at a later date, once he he is located and arrested, and prosecutors said they are also considering other charges due to the nature of Rogers’ disappearance.