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Rogers extradited to Georgia
Oct 12, 2012 4:00 pm
When Wilson County Judge Robert Hamilton called the docket in General Sessions court Thursday, Richard Rogers was not there to answer.
Attorneys representing the district attorney's office told the judge Rogers had already been extradited at the request of Cobb County, Ga. authorities. The Lebanon City Council candidate faces outstanding drug charges there.
A Ward 1 candidate, Rogers had remained in Wilson County Jail since Lebanon police took him into custody Sept. 26. He opted to forgo an extradition hearing Thursday in Wilson County and was taken into custody by Georgia officers to be sent there to the face nine-year-old charges.
Police Chief Scott Bowen said at the time Rogers was wanted on two felony warrants for possession of muscle relaxers and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute issued in 2004 from Cobb County. Rogers also had outstanding charges from 2003 involving driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving and failure to stop at the scene of an accident. Georgia authorities charged Rogers in 2003, and a bench warrant was issued after he failed to appear in court.
Bowen said Lebanon police first became aware of the warrants after an officer stopped to offer Rogers assistance after his vehicle broke down Sept. 17. He said as part of normal procedure, the officer entered Rogers’ driver’s license number into the police database and discovered the warrants. Bowen said according to database information, Rogers was released because Cobb County authorities did not give instruction to hold him for extradition.
Bowen said Lebanon officers received a call from Cobb County authorities Sept. 26, asking they take Rogers into custody and hold him until he could be picked up and taken to Georgia to face charges. Bowen emphasized that his department had no political interest in the case.
“Our only involvement in this was that our officer was just checking on him, and it’s something we do that we check driver’s licenses,” Bowen said.
Since the Aug. 23 candidate withdrawal deadline has passed, Rogers will remain on the ballot against Lanny Jewell for Ward 1 councilor.
Since Rogers has not been convicted of the felony charges, he remains in good standing to be a city council candidate, according to state law. Rogers has reportedly requested he not be considered for the council seat in the Nov. 6 election.
Jewell professed surprise when Rogers was arrested by local authorities but planned to carry on his campaign as usual.
Staff writer Mary Hinds can be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 45 or email@example.com.