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SJC Affirms Convictions Of Brockton Murderer, Strikes Down Bid For New Trial

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Contact: Beth Stone 508-584-8120

BROCKTON – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has affirmed the convictions and denied the bid for a new trial of a man who murdered a 15 year-old in Brockton in 2006, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.

On February 19, 2006, Jerard Rogers, 15, was shot to death in Brockton shortly after midnight. Upon reports of the shooting, Brockton Police were dispatched to the area of 26 1/2 Clifford Avenue where a house party had just ended and 50 to 60 youths were gathered in the area. Witnesses reported that Robert O. Jacobs, now 33 years old, had shot Rogers with a .380 caliber automatic pistol. Massachusetts State Police detectives and Brockton police retrieved shell casings from the scene and conducted an investigation. An arrest warrant was issued for Jacobs the same day as the shooting, but he remained at large for 17 months until his arrest. In September, 2008, a jury found Jacobs guilty of murder in the first degree by means of both deliberate premeditation and extreme atrocity or cruelty, and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Jacobs subsequently moved for a new trial. His motion was denied in May, 2020 by Plymouth Superior Court Judge Robert C. Cosgrove after an evidentiary hearing. In a published decision today, the Supreme Judicial Court rejected all of the defendant’s claims on appeal and upheld the defendant’s convictions. The Supreme Judicial Court held that the defendant’s trial counsel’s decisions not to call certain witnesses to testify and not to engage the services of a crime scene reconstruction expert were reasonable.  The Court also held that the trial judge properly handled misconduct by two jurors during their deliberations by dismissing them, replacing them with alternates, and having the jury begin its deliberations anew. 

“This was a tragedy for the family of Jerard Rogers, whose life was cut short at just 15 years-old,” DA Cruz said. “Our office fought hard on behalf of this victim, and I am pleased that the SJC confirmed the first degree murder conviction in this case.”

October 19, 2021