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It was a Father’s Day discovery that shook Chester County, South Carolina to its core. On Sunday, June 21, 2020, Gene Rogers, 61, and his mother, Billie Rogers, 78, were found shot to death in their mobile home.
How could these two good and generous church-going people, as they were known by family and friends, have met such a violent end?
“We’re a small town with big city problems,” Chester County Sheriff’s Office Det. Rikki Burch tells “Cold Justice,” airing Saturdays at 8/7c on Oxygen . “But we just don’t have the resources like big cities.”
On a recent episode, veteran prosecutor Kelly Siegler and investigator Steve Spingola travel to Chester County to look into the harrowing case.
Chester County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Al Crawford, Sgt. Michael Dean, Lt. Wade Young, and Burch bring Siegler and Spingola up to speed on the murders. The victims’ bodies were found by Gene’s step-grandson Gene “Alex” Scott, 24, who was in the Army and stationed in Germany at the time of the “Cold Justice” investigation.
On June 21, 2020, Alex arrived at the Rogers' home to drop off a Father’s Day card. He told police he saw the bodies and that he’d locked his keys in his car and ran to a nearby neighbor’s house for help.
Shell casings were gathered at the scene and a gunshot residue kit was collected on Alex. “Nothing came back with any results,” Burch says.
Six months before the murder, Alex, who by several accounts had a troubled youth, had been discharged from the Marines. Gene gave him $90,000 to start his own security business. At the time of the murders, just $300 of that gift remained, according to “Cold Justice.”
Gene’s $700,000 life insurance policy was considered a possible motive for murder as investigators considered suspects including Alex and his roommate Ian Little, a former Marine who worked with him at the security company.
Ian declined to speak with authorities at the time of the murders. In November 2020, Ian died by suicide.
Evan Webb, a former Marine who supposedly was in Chester County to interview for a job with the security company, is another person of interest. Investigators also want to talk to Aaron Scott, Gene’s stepson and Alex’s uncle, because of his financial stake in Gene’s life insurance payout.
Siegler and Spingola meet with Paul Rogers, who’s devastated by the murders of his brother and mother. He confirms the report that Gene gave Alex a large sum of money to jump-start his business.
Based on reports by officials and witnesses, Alex’s behavior after finding the bodies raised red flags. “I’ve never seen anybody act as bizarrely as Alex did,” Spingola says. “From wild mood swings to punching the ground to attempting to get away from law enforcement.”
At the murder scene, ballistics expert Chris Robinson reconstructs the crime. His demonstration shows how quickly and intentionally the killer moved throughout the trailer killing both victims, according to Spingola.
“This would indicate to me that it was somebody with firearms expertise, which makes Marine veteran Alex a more likely suspect than Aaron,” Spingola says.
Interviews with Aaron and Gene’s friend confirm that Gene, who taught Sunday school and never missed church, didn’t attend church on Father’s Day.
“That suggests the murders happened the night before,” says Siegler, adding that it was the same night Alex had met with Ian and Evan about a security job opening. The window for the murders is believed to be between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.
When Spingola and Dean interview him by phone, Evan claims that he wasn’t really interested in the job opening and couldn’t recall who was at the meeting. Asked point blank if he was involved in the murders of Gene and Billie or had knowledge about who committed the crime, Evan denies any guilt.
Siegler interviews Ian’s girlfriend to find out if his behavior changed after the crime, and investigators learn that Ian’s mood changed dramatically. Although there was no way to prove it, the radical shift raises the possibility that Ian knew about or assisted in the murders.
To better understand Alex’s relationship with Gene, investigators speak with Gene’s ex-wife, Robin. She says that Alex was a troubled youth who was in and out of state homes. “Robin paints a striking picture of Alex being very manipulative towards Gene and being terrifying to Billie,” says Spingola.
Digital forensics expert Eric Devlin’s analysis of Alex’s cell phone usage and internet searches, along with that of his Marine buddies who met the night before the bodies were found, provide valuable information.
According to the data, on Saturday between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m., which is believed to be the window for the crime, Ian’s phone was nowhere near the crime scene. Evan’s phone wasn’t either but it also wasn’t anywhere near Alex’s apartment where he said it was.
Siegler considers the possibility that “Alex just made up the job interview story and asked his buddies to lie about it.”
Digital analysis shows that Alex’s phone was at his home plugged into a charger when the murderers are believed to have been committed. “You have to wonder if he was smart enough to leave it there because he knew the investigators might check on that,” says Siegler.
Devlin’s investigation reveals that at the time of the murders Alex searched the internet about how long gunshot residue can be detected, the death penalty, and life insurance payouts. Why would he be searching those subjects, an investigator asks? “Guilty people act guilty,” says Spingola.
The “Cold Justice” team decides not to reach out to Alex where he was stationed in Germany. “He might be able to easily leave the base if he felt threatened by our questions,” says Siegler.
After reviewing their investigations, the team clears Aaron as a suspect. Because of his murky and inconsistent interviews about the crime, Evan cannot be cleared as a suspect. The team was uncertain if Ian was involved in the crime or had knowledge of it before he killed himself.
A mountain of evidence is stacked up against Alex, and it's presented to the Chester County deputy solicitor with the hope of his being charged.
On October 23, 2021, Gene “Alex” Scott was transported home from Germany and arrested and charged with the murders of Gene and Billie Rogers.
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