A father is questioning his son’s competency to stand trial, as his son defends himself from accusations of trying to kill cops.
Prosecutors say that Darnell Rogers tried to shoot and kill Bexar County constables during an incident in Sept. 2015. Rogers ended up being shot in the torso by Precinct 4 deputy constables and paralyzed. He now moves via a wheelchair.
Rogers elected to represent himself despite advice to the contrary from his attorney counsel.
During the trial on Thursday, state prosecutors presented video evidence stemming from a September, 2015 incident. Precinct 4 Deputy Constable Fabian Gonzalez took the stand, saying he was one of the law enforcement officers who opened fire on Rogers during what was initially a call of a shooting in progress.
Gonzalez says that he gave chase when Rogers ran away on foot. He says that he initially pulled his taser, but drew his firearm when Rogers turned and lifted a handgun toward his partner.
"I see the defendant stop, turn around. And I'm thinking, oh ****, because he's not going to try to run anymore,” Gonzalez said in court. “He wants to fight."
Darnell Rogers’ father, Nelson Rogers, defended his son during an interview with KENS 5. He had to sit outside the courtroom because he may be called as a character witness to testify on his son’s behalf.
He says his son, who was almost completely silent while representing himself in trial, is not acting himself.
"That's a totally different guy. For one reason, I know he's representing himself,” Nelson said. “Darnell wouldn't do nothing like that."
Rogers’s most vocal moment came when he quietly asked the courtroom why the constables who testified didn't start rolling their body cams until after the shooting. None of the dash-cam or body cam footage shows the moment he was shot.
Nelson claims his son’s lack of clarity comes from the fact that he was held in isolation while at the Bexar County Jail, although the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office has not been able to verify that claim.
He says that, without a proper defense, the jury may never get all the answers.
"All we're asking for is a fair trial,” Nelson said.