Cop Convicted Of Second-Degree Manslaughter For Shooting 5-Yr-Old Boy In Back Of Head Gets Record Expunged, Now Free Again To Become An Officer

Chris | InformationLiberation
Aug. 15, 2013

Five year old Austin Haley was out fishing with his grandfather when police officer Paul Bradley Rogers shot his firearm in a failed attempt to kill a snake hiding in someone's birdhouse. The bullet passed through the birdhouse onto the Haley's property, with the first bullet the officer fired passing right between Austin's grandfather's legs and into their lake. Austin's grandfather then screamed out,"Stop, don't shoot! There’s someone down here!"

Six seconds later, officer Paul Bradley Rogers fired another shot, he again missed the snake, but the bullet struck five year old Austin in the back of the head, killing him.

The officer was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, which is a violent felony, but he was given no jail time and instead was sentenced to perform some "community service with animals."

Now, thanks to what's being described as a "loophole," the officer just had his record expunged, which means he is now free again to become a police officer. reports:
In 2007, former police officer Paul Bradley Rogers and his former supervising officer, Robert Shawn Richardson, responded to a neighbor’s call about removing a snake from a birdhouse. The snake was believed to be poisonous, so Richardson told Rogers to shoot the snake, but Austin was struck in the process.

Rogers was later found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, and he and Richardson received deferred sentences.

Manslaughter is a violent crime that one would typically not receive a deferred sentence for, Austin’s mother, Renee Haley, said, but since the two received deferred sentences, one was able to get his record expunged through a loophole and, from her understanding, the supervision officer is trying to as well.

Haley said that the law was changed in November allowing a loophole that basically says if the person received a deferred sentence, their record can be expunged.

“Normally deferred sentences would be for much lesser crimes,” she said. “(This loophole) wasn’t meant for people who killed a little 5-year-old boy. It was meant for lesser crimes.”

Haley said they are only asking for fairness.

“If the roles were reversed and I had shot the gun, it would be much different. I would’ve been sent to jail and the sentence would have been done more harshly,” she said.

As it is, the two never served any jail time and were asked by the court to do some community service with animals, Haley said, adding that the only form of punishment they were really given was that this violent crime was going to stay on their record forever.
Forget what would have happened if it was a mother who mistakenly shot her own son, what would the punishment have been if it was a police officer who was mistakenly shot in the back of the head by someone trying to shoot a snake? Community service with animals?

There are two sets of rules in this country, those for the rulers, and those for the ruled.
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