No longer a murder suspect, Bruce Rogers now on suicide watch

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by CASEY NORTON

WFAA-TV

Posted on April 21, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 21 at 8:19 PM

FORT WORTH — Bruce Rogers, the man who was arrested, charged, and then cleared in the murder of Southwest High School student Eric Forrester, is now on suicide watch.

Rogers is not allowed to do anymore jailhouse interviews, and his friends blame police for his fragile mental state.

Friends and pastors say Bruce Rogers has been berated by inmates since he was publicly labeled a killer by Fort Worth police.

"Telling him he's going to get lethal injection. He's not going to get off. Telling him he's the scum of the earth, telling him he's a thug that we need to get rid of," said Pastor Kyev Tatum, who argues that Fort Worth police were in a rush when they asked for a capital murder warrant.

The warrant says a friend knew Rogers planned to rob a house; that he saw a gun in Rogers' waistband; and that Rogers was on the run to Waco.

That person passed a polygraph.

But the warrant also says the key witness was only 65 percent sure when she picked Bruce Rogers out of a photo line-up.

"There was no weapon. There were no computers. And there were no fingerprints," Tatum said, "and you cannot convict a man of capital murder based on he-say, she-say."

Fort Worth police are no longer talking about the Forrester murder case. They said there was probable cause to arrest Rogers, and that his apprehension led to more tips and the eventual arrest of two teenage suspects.

"We follow the evidence, and we follow the facts," said Fort Worth police spokesman Sgt. Chad Mahaffey. "And that's exactly what happened in this case."

Community leaders say that still doesn't change the fact that the wrong person was accused of murder.

"For them to acknowledge that the ends justify the means simply gives us more credence that they are willing to do anything to solve a crime," Tatum said. "Our Constitution does not allow them to do that."

Rogers remains jailed, facing robbery charges in an unrelated case.

But he is on suicide watch — worried, his pastor says, that he will always be known as a murder suspect.

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

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