In the summer of 2007, Noble, Oklahoma Police Officer Paul Brad Rogers negligently discharged his firearm while attempting to dislodge a non-poisonous snake from a tree. In the process of doing so, Rogers killed 5-year-old Austin Haley with a .357 round that entered the back of the boy’s head and exited the front.
Austin’s grandfather, Jack Tracy immediately attempted to evacuate the mortally wounded child to medical care, as blood and brains flowed from his wounds. Shortly later, the boy was pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital in Oklahoma City.
In 2008, Rogers made a plea deal with the Cleveland County prosecutor, convicting him of second-degree involuntary manslaughter and successfully avoiding a sentence of incarceration.
As a deferred sentence, Rogers’ conviction has been lawfully expunged under provisions of Oklahoma law. Such a change in the status of the case creates the possibility that Rogers could now successfully apply for another position in law enforcement outside of the State of Oklahoma.
Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn, who was responsible for the original plea agreement, has stated that “the case could be updated to say ‘pled not guilty, case dismissed’.”
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