MERCER COUNTY Rogers admits killing Campbell at Sharon bar



He would have faced life imprisonment if convicted of first-degree murder.
By HAROLD GWIN
VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU
MERCER, Pa. -- Michael A. Rogers admitted in court that he fired the shot that killed Elliott Andre Campbell at a bar in Sharon on June 16, 2003.
Rogers, 30, of Sharon, was charged with first- and third-degree murder in that homicide and was set to go to trial for a second time Monday when he entered a guilty plea to lesser charges in Mercer County Common Pleas Court.
His first trial in June ended in a mistrial almost as soon as it began when a female juror mentioned to others on the panel that her daughter had asked her if she feared reprisals if Rogers was found guilty of the crime.
Judge Francis J. Fornelli declared the case a mistrial after learning of the comment from the other jurors. He later ordered the offending juror to serve 20 hours of community service for contempt of court.
He had instructed the jurors not to discuss the case in any fashion until deliberations began.
Guilty pleas
Rogers entered guilty pleas to charges of voluntary manslaughter, carrying a firearm without a license and recklessly endangering another person just as jury selection for his new trial was about to begin.
He would have faced life imprisonment if convicted of first-degree murder.
District Attorney James Epstein said Rogers will face 141/2 to 29 years in prison for the three counts to which he leaded guilty. Sentencing is set for Oct. 1.
Epstein said the plea arrangement was approved by both the Sharon police and the victim's family.
What happened
Authorities said Rogers fatally wounded Campbell, 27, of Hermitage during a fight at the now-closed Styles Restaurant & amp; Lounge on East Budd Street in Sharon.
Witnesses said that Campbell got into a fight with another man at the bar. Rogers tried to intervene and was knocked down by Campbell.
Rogers got up, pulled out a handgun and began shooting at Campbell, who ran for the door, witnesses said.
One of the shots hit Campbell, mortally wounding him, police said.

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