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Kelly Lamont ROGERS

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape - Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: December 19, 1990
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: July 14, 1968
Victim profile: Karen Marie Lauffenburger (female, 21)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Payne County, Oklahoma, USA
Status: Executed by lethal injection in Oklahoma on March 23, 2000
 
 
 
 
 
 

Summary:

21 year old Karen Marie Lauffenburger was an interior design student at Oklahoma State University, and worked part-time delivering pizzas for Buy 'N Bye Pizza.

She was last seen alive on December 19, 1990 on her way to deliver a pizza to the home of Audra Lynn Todd, the girlfriend of Kelly Lamont Rogers.

A short time later, she was found dead in her apartment by her boyfriend, stabbed 9 times in the chest, neck and abdomen. She had also been sexually assaulted.

Investigators found bank records showing that Lauffenburger's bank account had practically been emptied at an ATM machine between the time she left to deliver the pizza and when her body was found.

At trial, Todd testified that Rogers told her he was going to rob the pizza delivery person. She told the court that Rogers bought crack cocaine and drank wine after telling her he had just killed "a pizza girl."

Todd was originally charged with Murder, but she entered a guilty plea to Robbery and was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Along with the death sentence, he received 325 years in prison (150 years for rape, 75 years for robbery, 50 years for robbery of the pizza money and 50 years for stealing her car).

Prosecutors said Rogers raped Lauffenburger while she was alive and again after she was stabbed. Rogers had been previously convicted of Forgery and Escape (1988) and Robbery (1986). At the time of the murder, Rogers had been out of prison just five weeks.

 
 

ProDeathPenalty.com

Rogers, from Bartlesville, was sentenced to death for the Dec. 19, 1990, murder of Lauffenburger at her apartment in Stillwater. Lauffenburger was found dead a short time after delivering a pizza to Rogers' girlfriend's apartment. The 21-year-old Oklahoma State University student had been stabbed 9 times in the chest, neck and abdomen.

Investigators found bank records showing that Lauffenburger's bank account had practically been emptied at an ATM machine between the time she left to deliver the pizza and when her body was found.

At trial, Rogers' girlfriend, Audra Lynn Todd, testified that Rogers told her he was going to rob the pizza delivery person. She told the court that Rogers bought crack cocaine and drank wine after telling her he had just killed "a pizza girl."

Lauffenburger had worked part time for about 5 weeks for Buy 'N Bye Pizza when she was killed. A jury of 6 women and 6 men took 80 minutes to convict the 23-year-old Rogers of kidnapping, rape and murder charges in December of 1991.

Along with the death sentence, he received 325 years in prison -- 150 years for rape, 75 years for robbery, 50 years for robbery of the pizza money and 50 years for stealing Lauffenburger's car. Prosecutors said Rogers raped Lauffenburger while she was alive and again after she was stabbed.

UPDATE: 03/23/00 - Several of Lauffenburger's relatives, including her parents, witnessed the execution. A lengthy letter written by the victim's mother, Pat Lauffenburger, was distributed by death penalty supporters outside the prison walls. "To our misfortune, you never knew our Karen," the letter read. "By this letter, I hope to give you a small picture of this girl we were proud to call daughter and what her life was like before Rogers ended it that December."

 
 

Death Penalty Institute of Oklahoma

Kelly Lamont Rogers - Executed March 23, 2000. Kelly Lamont Rogers, 31, was executed by lethal injection at Oklahoma State Penitentiary shortly after midnight on Thursday, March 23, 2000. Rogers was pronounced dead at 12:27am.

Rogers, a Payne County death row inmate, was sentenced to death for the December 19, 1990 stabbing death of Oklahoma State University student Karen Marie Lauffenburger, 21. Lauffenburger was found dead in her Stillwater apartment by her boyfriend.

Rogers was also convicted of raping and robbing Lauffenburger. He received a sentence of 325 years for these convictions.

Rogers' girlfriend, Audra Lynn Todd, was charged with second degree murder in connection with Lauffenburger's death. Todd agreed to testify against Rogers in exchange for the murder charge against her being dropped. Todd was sentenced to 10 years for a conviction of robbery in the case.

Rogers was the fourth person put to death by the state this year. He was also the 23rd person and the sixth African-American to be executed by Oklahoma since it resumed capital punishment in 1977.

Rogers was executed after spending just over eight years on death row. Aside from inmates who have dropped their appeals, this was the shortest time from conviction to execution for anyone in Oklahoma since the death penalty resumed.

Clemency Denied on March 1 - The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board held a clemency hearing for Rogers at 1:00pm on Wednesday, March 1, 2000, at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. The Board rejected Rogers' clemency bid in a 4-0 vote.

Prayer Vigils and Protests - Prayer vigils and protests were held at various locations around the state.

 
 

Okla. Executes Man for 1990 Pizza Killing

Robbed and Raped Student Making Delivery

APBNews Online

March 23, 2000

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- A man convicted of raping and fatally stabbing an Oklahoma State University student who delivered him pizza a decade ago was executed by injection early today. Kelly Lamont Rogers, 31, had admitted to killing Karen Lauffenburger in 1990.

In the death chamber, he smiled and turned to his family to tell them he loved them. "To the Lauffenburger family, I just pray you guys will find peace and that God will heal you from the inside out," he said.

Lauffenburger, a 21-year-old interior design student, was killed the night of Dec. 19, 1990, after delivering a pizza to the apartment of Rogers' girlfriend, Audra Todd.

'A final act of justice'

Todd testified that Rogers told her he planned to rob the person who delivered the pizza. After the delivery, court records show, Rogers robbed Lauffenburger at knifepoint, forced her to withdraw $175 from her bank account at an automated teller machine, then made her drive to her apartment.

There, he stabbed her to death and raped her as she was either dead or dying, records showed. Lauffenburger's parents, Ray and Pat Lauffenburger, released a statement in which they expressed sympathy for Rogers' family, but called the execution a "final act of justice." "Our family has been constantly reminded of her absence with each passing year during celebrations of holidays, birthdays and special family gatherings," the statement said. "We miss her terribly and will continue to do so on a daily basis."

 
 

Oklahoma execution

Tulsa World

March 23, 2000

A decade after murdering a Stillwater college student, Kelly Lamont Rogers was punished for his crime Thursday morning. The 32-year-old Rogers was executed at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary for the 1990 murder of Karen Marie Lauffenburger.

Rogers died by lethal injection shortly after midnight. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Rogers' final appeal in January and the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board denied him clemency earlier this month.

Several of Lauffenburger's relatives, including her parents, witnessed the execution. A lengthy letter written by the victim's mother, Pat Lauffenburger, was distributed by death penalty supporters outside the prison walls. "To our misfortune, you never knew our Karen," the letter read. "By this letter, I hope to give you a small picture of this girl we were proud to call daughter and what her life was like before Rogers ended it that December."

A student at Oklahoma State University, Lauffenburger was working as a pizza delivery person at the time of her murder. After she delivered a pizza to Rogers at his girlfriend's apartment, Rogers followed Lauffenburger and robbed her of $40 in pizza money.

He then took her to an ATM and made her withdraw $175, almost all of her available cash. Rogers then took Lauffenburger, 21, to her apartment, where he raped and murdered her.

The execution marks the 1st for Oklahoma under new state and federal laws aimed at speeding up the appeal process. Rogers' stay on death row is one of the shortest -- 8 years -- for inmates seeking all their appeal rights.

Rogers becomes the 4th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Oklahoma and the 23rd overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1990. Rogers also becomes the 27th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 625th overall since America resumed executions on January 17, 1977.

 
 

A Final Act of Justice; Kelly Lamont Rogers is Executed

By Quannah Leonard - The Daily O'Collegian

March 23, 2000

McALESTER — Kelly Lamont Rogers used the last minutes of his life to thank his family and wish peace for his victim’s family. Rogers’ execution for murdering the 21-year-old Oklahoma State University student Karen Marie Lauffenburger began at 12:23 this morning at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

A minute before the lethal injection, Rogers, 31, thanked his family members with a smile and told them he loved them. His arms, legs and chest were already strapped to a table. Next, he turned to the Lauffenburger family. “To the Lauffenburger family, I just pray you guys will find peace and in time, God will heal you from inside and out.” Rogers’ statement lasted about one minute. Near the end, he addressed every witness. “And for those who might not know Jesus, I just ask that you know him, trust him as your Lord and Savior,” Rogers said. “He will get you through, just give him a chance.”

Executioners then began to administer the drugs. Prisoners are issued three drugs for lethal injection. The first drug causes unconsciousness, the second stops respiration and the third stops the heart. Soon after injection, a minister began reading the Bible.

Rogers smile gradually faded and he blew out of his puffed cheeks twice. Next his throat twitched, and he did not move for about two minutes. At 12:26, his chest heaved more than 12 times. And then he stopped moving. Rogers was pronounced dead at 12:27 this morning.

Lauffenburger’s uncle, brother, fiance and two pastors, who all wished to go unnamed, and her mother and father, Pat and Ray, witnessed Rogers’ death. Five of Rogers’ supporters, whose names were not revealed, also witnessed the execution.

Rogers’ last meal consisted of five drumsticks, four thighs, mashed potatoes and gravy, slaw, a large Sprite and double chocolate cake. In a statement released before the execution, Lauffenburger’s mother and father sent their sympathies to Rogers’ family. “With this final act of justice by the State of Oklahoma, it is our hope that both families, ours and theirs, will find healing and some peace of mind,” they said.

Rogers was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Lauffenburger Dec. 19, 1990. Lauffenburger, who worked for a pizza restaurant, was delivering a pizza to Rogers’ girlfriend, Audra Lynn Todd, when she was robbed at knifepoint and forced to her apartment where

Rogers raped and stabbed her multiple times to death. Rogers was convicted Dec. 18, 1991. His final appeal was denied in January, and the state Pardon and Parole Board denied him clemency earlier this month. Rogers told the clemency board he was sorry for killing Lauffenburger, and if he could replace her life with his, he would do it.

 
 

Man Who Raped, Murdered Student Executed

The Daily Ardmoreite

March 23, 2000

McALESTER (AP) -- Moments before he was executed, Kelly Lamont Rogers smiled at witnesses and asked God to heal the family of the young woman he stabbed to death and raped in 1990.

Rogers, 31, received a lethal mix of drugs at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and was pronounced dead at 12:27 this morning. He acknowledged robbing, raping and killing Karen Marie Lauffenburger, a 21-year-old student at Oklahoma State University, after she delivered him a pizza on the night of Dec. 19, 1990. ''To the Lauffenburger family, I just pray you guys will find peace and that God will heal you from the inside out,'' Rogers said. ''And for those who might not know Jesus, I just ask that you know him and trust him as your Lord and savior. He will get you through.''

Several members of Rogers' and Lauffenburger's families witnessed the execution and sat stone-faced throughout. After the drugs began to flow, Rogers' smile quickly faded. He blinked, blew twice through puffed cheeks and fell motionless a minute later.

Another minute passed before his chest came alive in a series of a dozen heaves, which faded with each convulsion. Rogers again fell still and was pronounced dead four minutes after the execution began.

Lauffenburger's parents issued a statement expressing sympathy for Rogers' family, but calling the execution a ''final act of justice.'' ''Our family has been constantly reminded of her absence with each passing year during celebrations of holidays, birthdays and special family gatherings,'' said the statement by Ray and Pat Lauffenburger. ''We miss her terribly and will continue to do so on a daily basis.'' At the time of her murder, Lauffenburger studied interior design at OSU and delivered pizzas part time. She made her last delivery to the apartment of Rogers' girlfriend, Audra Todd.

In Rogers' trial, Todd testified that Rogers had told her he planned to rob the person who delivered the pizza. After the delivery, court records show Rogers followed Lauffenburger out of the apartment and robbed her of $40 at knifepoint. He then forced her to drive him to her apartment to get her ATM card, and had her withdraw $175 from her bank account with it.

Afterward, he made her return to her apartment where he stabbed her to death and raped her as she was either dead or dying. Rogers had been out of prison just five weeks when he murdered Lauffenburger. He had previous convictions for armed robbery, forgery and escaping from a penal institution.

Rogers spent fewer than 10 years on death row, with the U.S. Supreme Court rejecting his final appeal in January and the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board denying him clemency earlier this month. No emergency appeals were filed to try and put a last-minute stop to his execution.

In the hours before his death, Rogers visited with family members and was offered a shower and a fresh set of clothes before he was led to the death chamber. Earlier in the day, he ate a last meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, coleslaw and Sprite.

Rogers is the 106th inmate executed in Oklahoma and the 23rd executed by the state since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1977. He was the fourth Oklahoma death row inmate executed this year, with three more scheduled for execution in the coming months.

 
 

Rogers v. State, 890 P.2d 959 (Okl.Cr. 1995) (Direct Appeal).

Kelly Lamont Rogers was tried by jury before the Honorable Donald L. Worthington in the District Court of Payne County. In Case No. CRF-90-412 he was convicted of First Degree Malice Aforethought Murder in violation of 21 O.S.1991, § 701.7 he was convicted of First Degree Robbery, 21 O.S.1991, § 801 , in CRF-91-26 and CRF-91-27; First Degree Rape, 21 O.S.1991, §§ 1111 in CRF-91-28; and Larceny of a Motor Vehicle, 21 O.S.1991, § 1720 <, in CRF-91-29, all after conviction of two or more felonies.

The jury found 1) the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel; 2) there was a probability that Rogers would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society; and 3) Rogers had previously been convicted of a felony involving violence. Rogers was sentenced to death for the murder conviction, fifty years and seventy-five years for each robbery charge respectively, one hundred fifty years for rape, and fifty years incarceration for larceny. From these convictions Rogers has perfected his appeal, raising eleven propositions of error.

On December 19, 1990, Rogers and his girlfriend, Audra Todd, ordered a pizza from Pizza Express. Karen Lauffenburger, a student at Oklahoma State University, delivered the pizza to Todd's apartment. After receiving the pizza, Rogers followed Lauffenburger, robbed her of her $40.00 Pizza Express "bank" and demanded more money. They drove to Lauffenburger's apartment, where she got her automatic teller machine (ATM) bank card.

Next, they drove to a nearby ATM, and she first enquired about her bank balance, then withdrew all her money. The two returned to Lauffenburger's apartment. Lauffenburger's fiancee, Peter Gilmartin, found her there nude at approximately 10:00 p.m., dead from nine stab wounds in the chest, neck and abdomen.

At some point during the evening Lauffenburger was raped. Sperm consistent with Rogers (but inconsistent with Gilmartin) was found on vaginal swabs, Lauffenburger's panties and jeans. She had peri- or postmortem vaginal injuries consistent with nonconsensual sexual intercourse.

Rogers was subsequently arrested and questioned. He eventually admitted stabbing Lauffenburger but insisted that they had consensual sexual intercourse.

 
 

Rogers v. Gibson, 173 F.3d 1278 (10th Cir. 1999) (Habeas).

At approximately 10:15 p.m. on December 19, 1990, Lauffenburger's fiance discovered Lauffenburger's nude body in her apartment in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Lauffenburger, a part-time pizza delivery person, had disappeared that evening while delivering pizzas in the Stillwater area.

After she failed to return from a delivery, Eric Zanotelli, the manager of the pizza restaurant where she worked, became concerned and attempted to locate her. He retraced her route and drove to the location of her last delivery, an apartment rented to Audra Lynn Todd. Petitioner lived with Todd and is the father of her three children. Todd told Zanotelli that Lauffenberger had delivered the pizza and left. Concerned, Zanotelli called Lauffenburger's fiance who went to Lauffenburger's apartment and discovered the body.

The events leading up to Lauffenburger's murder transpired as follows. After Lauffenburger delivered the pizza to Todd's apartment around 7:00 p.m., Petitioner took a knife from Todd's apartment, followed Lauffenburger and robbed her of $40.00.

Petitioner and Lauffenburger then drove to her apartment where Petitioner raped her. After the rape, Petitioner drove Lauffenburger to a nearby automated teller machine, where she withdrew $175.00 from her account at 7:52 p.m. Petitioner then returned Lauffenburger to her apartment and murdered her.

After the murder, Petitioner drove, in Lauffenburger's car, to the vicinity of Todd's apartment where Lauffenburger's 1984 Toyota Tercel, keys and identification were found at 5:15 a.m. the next morning.

On December 20, 1990, Defendant was charged by Information with first degree murder for Lauffenburger's death. The court declared Petitioner indigent on December 26, 1990, and appointed counsel the same day.

On January 29, 1991, Petitioner was charged by Information with two counts of robbery by force, first degree rape, and larceny of a motor vehicle. Defendant was tried before a jury and convicted on all counts.

In the penalty phase, the jury found three aggravating factors: (1) the murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel; (2) Petitioner posed a continuing threat to society; and (3) Petitioner had previously been convicted of a felony involving violence. The jury recommended the death penalty, and the trial court sentenced Petitioner to death for the murder conviction.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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