Judge Gives Blind Florida Man His Guns Back After He Shot His Buddy to Death

Categories: WTF Florida

Screencap of WESH report via YouTube
John Wayne Rogers at the Seminole County Courthouse.
The facts are not in dispute: John Wayne Rogers is legally blind. He also shot his friend to death two years ago after an hours-long drinking binge at his rural Florida home. More specific, he pointed a .308 Remington assault rifle at his buddy's chest from a little more than a foot away and then pulled the trigger.

Yet Rogers not only walked free last month but also was recently given back all of his guns by a Florida judge. Yes, Florida's Stand Your Ground law is to blame. And yes, it all happened in Sanford, the same town where Miami teen Trayvon Martin was gunned down by George Zimmerman.

Rogers was initially charged with first-degree murder and faced a life sentence after the March 27, 2012 killing. The 40-year-old had invited his friend, 34-year-old James T. DeWitt, to spend the night at his house in Geneva, a town about ten miles east of Sanford.

After drinking into the wee hours, a fight broke out, and Rogers shot and killed his house guest. But faced with conflicting testimony and Rogers' claims it was self-defense, a judge in January dropped the charges under the Stand Your Ground law and set the gunman free.

Last week, Rogers was back in court to ask for the return of his Glock pistol and the assault rifle used in the shooting. The judge was incredulous but said he had no standing to prevent the proven killer -- who, don't forget, legally cannot see -- from regaining ownership of his powerful weapons.

"I have to return the property that was taken under this circumstance," Judge John Galluzo told the court. "I have researched it and haven't found case law to say otherwise."

Rogers gloated to a TV crew on his way out. "I'm a law-abiding citizen," he told WESH, "and I'm glad to see that justice was done."

That's one word for what's been going on in Seminole County.

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89 comments
Patricia L Watt
Patricia L Watt

Blind & crazy asshole. Dude you killed another person. And want your gun back?

elpflasa
elpflasa

Oh, for the love of Pete.  ATTENTION PEOPLE AND/OR DUMBASSES:

!!!!!!DO NOT BLAME THE JUDGE!!!!!!

Florida has laws created by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. (BTW, feel free to blame those douchenozzles all you want! And feel free to throw in the NRA while you're at it, as their lobbyists write the sample laws that our awful and ineffective gun laws are based on)  What the JUDGE ruled (unfortunately, but correctly) is that there was NO legal authority on his part to keep those guns.  What he was doing was saying, in essence, "don't blame me, I don't want to give back this maniac's guns, but there is no law or legal precedent that allows me keep them." 

lorenestes1011
lorenestes1011

oh, well. at least the judge ordered the ammo destroyed.

bobwyman
bobwyman

I see the NRA is being blamed here in some comments. The charges were dropped which means he won't be found guilty of a crime. He can have his firearms back. Being blind is irrelevant. We all have Rights and the day the tables are turned on you is the day you wished you had learned them. If you are against firearms then do not call police when you are in trouble because they have firearms. Unless you were an eyewitness to all that happened at the man's house where this event occurred or are a legal expert you have no room  to say anything about it. Period.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................the real story here is NO ONE in an official LAW ENFORCEMENT or JUDICICAL capacity can see the hypocracy let alone the potential public danger

lets face it even a JUDGE is afraid of the NRAs ability to cause problems

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

........................wait WHY NOT ?

maybe BUFORD T JUSTICE is on to something

if THE DUKE gets his guns back maybe he'll go and shoot down ANOTHER dumb red-necks like he did to JAME T DEWITT

if enough of these armed dummies kill one other dummy we could raise the collective IQ of florida by 100% by eliminating half of the idiots by the other half

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

........................i would like to know what the "argument" was about

Ru Ru H
Ru Ru H

His name is John Wayne. Case closed.

Alex Alvarez
Alex Alvarez

Its a tough competition for stupidest state. Which is it Florida or Texas?

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

"Legally blind" is not completely blind.  If you watch the video, you can tell he can indeed see.  How well, we don't know.

Danny Quintero
Danny Quintero

Carlos Rod I'm telling you primo it's crazy here

rdeoro28
rdeoro28

someone should have punched him....not like he would have seen it coming. lmao

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

Whoa, he used a selective fire rifle to shoot his buddy?  Oh wait... Remington .308 "assault rifle."  Let's see, the closest thing to an assault rifle in that caliber that Remington makes is the semi-automatic R-25.


Eh, "assault rifle" gets reader's attention.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...............i don't "blame" the judge i just think a smarter judge, like SOLOMON, would have found a better result

this judge is obviously afraid of the N R A

elpflasa
elpflasa

Legal expert here.  Go ahead and blame the NRA folks!  Without them, Florida would not have a "stand your ground" law that changes the burden of proof for prosecutors from "reasonable man" standards to subjective standards in the case of self-defense.  Thanks NRA!  Florida NEEDED to make it easier to shoot people dead!

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.................yeah well then we should have given O J that knife back after he killed his wife and the goldman kid and got away with that murder

and oh yeah the ONLY eye-witness, DEWITT, well he can't comment because HE'S DEAD

SLAVEOWNERs had rights too once under the US CONSTITUTION and until women's sufferage the US CONSTITUTION prohibited women from voting

so i guess by YOUR logic the zany and crazy mental patients like this here BIG DAWG DUKE can go on blasting away as is his RIGHT

say hello to the grand wizard of the KKK when you see him at your next meeting

elpflasa
elpflasa

Frank. Important point here:  the issue is not with the Judge or Law Enforcement.  It is with the legislature and governor.  Police departments and State Attornies lobbied against "Stand Your Ground" and continue to oppose it.  However, our legislature happens to be a wholely owned subsidiary of the NRA.

csand
csand

@HarryTheHandyman  HE'S BLIND!!! to the average reader, they could care less whether it was a semiautomatic or an assault rifle. It wasn't the gun model that shocked people, it was the fact that case law doesn't prohibit the judge from returning his guns back to him. I doubt he would get his guns back if he was a drunk disabled black or latino that shot their friend after a "dispute." 


Stupid gun advocates are quick to ignore facts and focus on the most meaningless detail to try to prove a point that is just as stupid as them. The media is doing their job by reporting assholes that shouldn't have guns (and clearly don't understand the concept of justice); it's not for attention. You making ignorant comments/trolling is for attention. Next time this blind prick gets pissed off at his house guest he can shoot them AGAIN (on purpose or by mistake) and get away with it. Blind people shouldn't have guns. You're handicapped, deal with it. Armless people shouldn't have cars. Voiceless people shouldn't have karaoke machines. If they need protection move to a retirement home or use the Medicaid money you're probably abusing (yes stupid white people do it too) and hire some help or security. 

And somehow people still wonder why there should be a review on our (non-existent) gun control laws. Smh. 

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

If you were really a legal expert you would know that most states  have Stand Your Ground laws. 

Florida is NOT the exception but the rule. 


By the way, Self Defense laws are there to protect law abiding citizens from the attacks of criminals. The law does not "make it easier to shoot people dead." The law simply allows law abiding citizens to defend themselves and their families.

It is simple:

If you don't want to get shot, don't go around assaulting people. 

If you don't want your teenage son to get shot, teach him to keep his hands to "hisself". 


Capisce?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@elpflasa  


i absolutely agree


SLAVERY / womans right to vote / GUNs were all part of the original US CONSTITUTION


two out of those three issues were amended


maybe its time the third one was changed also


until then we will continue the wild west show

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@bobwyman @frankd4  


my IQ ?, fifty (50) points higher than SARA PALIN


drill baby drill


failin palin was selected by mccain OVER romney as VP candidate so SHE DOES get the most out of herself


i think mccain was watching sara eat an IOWAN CORN DOG when he made THAT presidential executive decision to ditch mittens oBaMneyCARE romney

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@csand

you are simply ignoring or not thinking about the POWER OF THE N R A over law enforcement and elected officials AND JUDGEs

NO ONE in florida messes with the N R A

the N R A controls the state legislature = period

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

@csand @HarryTheHandyman Speaking of ignorant, you said "... (non-existent) gun control laws" and used "SMH."  Please tell me more about these nonexistent gun control laws.  I'll sit here and wait.

From your rant, it sounds like you hate people with disabilities.  Tsk tsk.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@Exiliado @frankd4  


it remains however that the DEAD GUY will never get his day in court


i don't know HOW many times the whole case seems like a SLAM DUNK until everyone gets to have their say which basically is what DUE PROCESS is all about


i'm NOT saying the trayvon kid was on his way to HARVARD or would have ever been a positive contributor to society but what i've since observed from that fatso wanna-be condo commando is that zimmerman is MENTALLY UNstable = period


so who really knows what that story was (and YES i realize it wasn't a SYG test case)

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

@frankd4  That happens very rarely.


Also, to claim self defense immunity, the burden of proof is on the defendant.


A defendant can only claim immunity based on a preponderance of evidence. Otherwise, the case goes to trial. 



frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

.........and as for the poster child in this discussion that fatso wanna-be condo commando zimmerman he definately should have been in a mental institution

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

...........the problem i have with the law is well look at it this way - you kill someone in self defense based on YOUR testimony but how does the DEAD GUY get to say his piece ?

the shooter becomes judge, jury and executioner all uncontested by the dead person

we will NEVER know what the WHOLE story is because we only ever get ONE SIDE - the side of the killer - and how many times has a killer lied ? we simply do NOT know because the balance of the "story" will never be heard in court of law

that's the problem as i see it

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@kennyangell @frankd4 @elpflasa  


GUN LAWs must provide a constant ability of one to be physically and mentally fit to properly use a GUN = period


collectors items should be rendered unuseable

kennyangell
kennyangell

@frankd4 @elpflasa  Absolutely. It's time to ammend the Constitution.


There has to be more effective gun laws but more than anything a cultural change needs to happen.


Most countries in the world do not allow their citizens such easy access to guns and they do not have the same problems as we do.


Sometimes even the Police are unarmed.

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

@frankd4 @Exiliado  

But that's not going to happen.

We are good with the law as it is. 

It is a good law.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@Exiliado @frankd4  


i agree


i think the judges statement was a message to the state legislature that if they don't like it they should enact law to change it

Exiliado
Exiliado topcommenter

@frankd4  There's no "code."


The judge is bound to rule according to written law or by legal precedent. 

He is not allow to keep the man's guns. 

Period.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

............................the N R A is the story = period

to think the JUDGE isn't influenced by the N R A or any public official for that matter, especially here in FLORIDA, where it is well know the N R A controls the state legislative process, is simply being naive = period

when the judge said "i haven't found CASE law" THAT'S CODE for sending a message to the state legislature that IF this shouldn't happen then tallahassee has to provide THE LAW to prevent it which as long as the N R A has control up there it's not going to happen

the judge realized how absured this looks and absolved himself by pointing public attention to tallahassee thus avoiding any confrontations with the N R A lobbyists

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@Exiliado @frankd4 @bobwyman  


many times


at some point i didn't know the US CONSTITUTION allowed SLAVERY and that at least a few of the "founding fathers" owned SLAVES and some even had children with their SLAVEs)


so then i learn the US CONSTITUTION can be "amended"


so then it comes to me that ANY part of the US CONSTITUTION can be amended that INCLUDES the right to have GUNS = period


so now i understand better why certain people have to OVERstate their case and be so DRAMATIC and put drama queens like FAILIN PALIN in plces she doesn;t belong (and jumped in ahead of MITT ROMENY for mccains VP candidate)


so basically IF maccain thought PALIN was better than ROMNEY means the shinniest object gets the attention BUT the US CONSTITUTION can be changed

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@bobwyman @frankd4  


as for the courts finding


well O J wasn't initially found anything CRIMINAL by the courts either BUT do you doubt O J killed his wife and goldman


so what if THE DUKE is found in a CIVIL lawsuit by the DEWITT family liable for damages, as O J was, then you might have to change your tune - no ?


same as your man who killed the hoodie BLACK kid


as for misunderstanding and incomprehension of the CONSTITUTION it was the GOP who challenged oBaMaCARE to the SUPREME COURT AND LOST - so i guess the GOP didn't have an understanding or comprehension either then (i never LOST a supreme court case !)


but i suppose your SUPREME leader grand wizard told you oBaMaCARE was anti-AMERICAN and UNconstitutional so y'all just went off anyway and LOST

i guess the GOP didn't "think things through" on that one - did they ?


drill baby drill 

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@bobwyman @frankd4  


well if the NRA is so correct how come GERMANY or NORWAY or other mature and civilized and very productive countries with VERY LOW crime rates exist just fine


your blind spot is you think you are right and everyone else is wrong


what would you do if the legal basis you cite was ever amended


the legal basis you cite PERMITTED SLAVE OWNERship at one point also - didn't it ?


the legal basis you cite once did NOT PERMIT WOMEN TO VOTE - right ?


i guess YOU think allowing women sufferage and abolishing slavery were "screwing it up or trying to" by that logic


BTW what lodge of the KKK are you a member of ?

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

@kennyangell @frankd4@HarryTheHandyman That's nice.  By definition, true assault weapons are not easy to acquire.  Based on the media's definition of this class of firearms, the "assault weapon" that was used doesn't even qualify as one.


Do YOU know what an assault weapon is?

bobwyman
bobwyman

@frankd4 When you lose an argument that you started, it burns you up doesn't it?
The NRA is not evil and has nothing to do with this. The charges were dropped so he was not found "anything" by the court. Blind people are quite functional. There are about 20,000 non-existent gun laws. Why do you think you can pick and choose who can have Rights and who cannot? I hope we all have power over the government, that is the basis for our country. It is not the NRA but people like you that are screwing it up or trying to.
Your clear misunderstanding and incomprehension of the Constitution and Bill of Rights is actually quite common anymore but do not let your stupidity rule you and lose your Rights for you.
Think things through and ask questions before you spout off.

kennyangell
kennyangell

@HarryTheHandyman @frankd4  Absurd that he got away with murder and even more absurd he got his guns back.


Earth to Spaceship come and get me this place is mental.

kennyangell
kennyangell

@frankd4 @HarryTheHandyman  One thing needs to be made clear here. Gun control is not confiscation of guns.


An assault weapon belongs in a war zone along with a hand held grenade launcher.


Not in a public place where kids are about.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@HarryTheHandyman @frankd4  


no but other indications seem to indicate he has used the weapons in various public places including the assault(s)


otherwise that's the problem that any yahoo or mental patient can amass an arsenal


my position as always has been a responsible GUN owner has and keeps current on licencure including testing and training by a professional

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman topcommenter

@frankd4 @HarryTheHandymanWhat license?  No license is necessary in Florida to own a firearm.  The story gives no indication that he even has a concealed weapons license.

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@HarryTheHandyman @frankd4  


he should have his license reVOCed similar to a drivers license revocation due to medical or physical issues


certainly anyone with a trend of "accidents" and assaults (he actually discharged the weapon multiple times but missed another person) is a public NUISANCE


of course if YOUR life, or your family members life depended on it YOU would find a reason to take his GUNs


but no one wants to anger the N R A

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