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Prosecutors want incriminating statements admitted in Christmas 2020 home invasion trials

By Mark Shenefelt - | Feb 23, 2023

BEN DORGER, Standard-Examiner file photo

The 2nd District Court is seen on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, in downtown Ogden.

OGDEN — Weber County prosecutors have filed motions asking that incriminating statements made by three suspects in a fatal Riverdale home invasion be declared admissible in their scheduled murder trials.

Liam Gale, 34, is to be tried in 2nd District Court in the aggravated murder of Trevor Martin, who was shot to death in the Christmas Day 2020 robbery at Martin’s Riverdale mobile home.

Rayburn Jimmy Bennett Jr., 18, also is charged with aggravated murder. Brittany Ann Rogers, 33, is charged with murder, accused of acting as the getaway driver. The three are being tried separately; tentative dates are Rogers in April, Bennett in May and Gale in July, according to court records.

A motion filed on Tuesday by Sean Brian, a deputy Weber County attorney, urged Judge Camille Neider to admit the “non-testimonial hearsay” statements made by the three suspects in police interviews, as well as the statements by a man who said he was present when the robbery was being planned.

According to the motion, the defendants were present when the man heard them allegedly discussing going to Martin’s home. Gale, according to the court record, “said he was going to go Grinch something,” the man said.

In his police interview, Bennjett allegedly admitted to being the primary actor in the slaying. He allegedly said he knocked on the door, Martin’s girlfriend answered, and he pushed his way past her and engaged Martin, hitting him on the head with his gun butt. Martin fought bck, the gun went off, then Bennett allegedly fired several shots into Martin’s body. He said the girlfriend came at him and he shot her in the face, then fled. Bennett would say nothing about Gale’s alleged role, but he said “Liam’s blond girlfriend” was the getaway driver.

Martin’s girlfriend was critically injured but survived.

Rogers told police she heard gunshots and then Gale and Bennett ran out of the home and got in the car. She said Bennett “had blood running out of his mouth.”

Gale initially told police Rogers “was not involved” and “was not there,” but he later said he forced her to drive that night and she would not have been there otherwise.

Defense attorneys have not yet responded to the county attorney’s motions. The next hearing is on March 21.


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