Trial continues in case of assault on police officer

Georgetown man accused of using coffee table as a weapon
June 25, 2014

A coffee table was at the center of testimony June 24 in the trial of a Georgetown man accused of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest.

Police say Michael W. Rogers, 53, used the table was as a weapon; his mother testified her son was angry when he flipped the table over, but he did not use it as a weapon.

Rogers is charged with second-degree assault of a police officer and resisting arrest; police say he fought with a trooper who went to Rogers' home to investigate a traffic accident at a nearby bar. Rogers was shot five times by the officer during the incident at the home.

Lorraine Rogers, a spry octogenarian who looks at least 10 years younger than her age, took the stand June 24 in defense of her son.

She said Trooper Matthew Morgan, who has since been promoted to corporal, came to her Georgetown home, where Rogers also lives, to ask Rogers about an earlier car accident. Through the course of the investigation, the conversation digressed, and the two ended up in a scuffle. Lorraine Rogers said Rogers put Morgan in a headlock; she also saw Rogers bite Morgan's arm. Morgan showed the jury his scar, and a photo of the bite was submitted into evidence June 23.

Lorraine said she hit Rogers and told him he was going to be arrested, convincing him to let Morgan go.

Morgan ran toward the front of the home and pulled out what Lorraine said she thought was a Taser; she later realized it was his handgun. At one point, she said, Morgan pointed the gun at her, and Rogers told Morgan not to shoot his mother.

Rogers then retreated to his bedroom but came out another door into the front room about 20 feet from where Morgan was standing with his gun drawn.

Lorraine said the officer ran to the door with the gun still in his hand.

Morgan, who testified June 23 and 24, said he was near the front door when Rogers picked up the coffee table and came at him, using the coffee table as a weapon.

"All I can recall is seeing a table coming at me," Morgan said.

In earlier testimony, Morgan said he intended to give Rogers an $89 ticket for inattentive driving in connection with an incident near the Riverside Inn.

When defense attorney Andrew Jezic questioned the traffic ticket, Superior Court Judge T. Henley Graves said Morgan had a right to give Rogers a summons, and that's why Morgan went to the home about 10 p.m., Aug. 1, 2013.

Testimony will continue at 9 a.m., Wednesday, June 25, in Sussex County Superior Court, Georgetown.