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Getaway driver in Christmas Day killing sentenced, to spend ‘very long time’ prison

By Tim Vandenack - | May 30, 2023
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Brittany Rogers, at left, stands with her lawyer Randall Marshall before 2nd District Court Judge Camille Neider at her sentencing on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Rogers was the getaway driver in a Dec. 25, 2020, incident in Riverdale that left Trevor Martin dead and his girlfriend, Angela Rowley, seriously injured.
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Angela Rowley, in the white jersey, speaks at the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, of Brittany Rogers, seated on the far right, in 2nd District Court in Ogden. Rogers was sentenced in connection with the Dec. 25, 2020, incident that left Rowley seriously injured and her boyfriend, Trevor Martin, dead.

OGDEN — Second District Court Judge Camille Neider said she’s heard little from Brittany Rogers to indicate she has taken responsibility for her role in a Christmas Day killing that left a man dead and his girlfriend seriously injured.

Even so, as getaway driver in the Dec. 25, 2020, incident at Trevor Martin’s mobile home park unit in Riverdale that left him dead and Angela Rowley with a gunshot wound to the face, she had a central role, the judge said at Rogers’ sentencing Tuesday.

“The truth is, your being in the equation facilitated what happened,” Neider said. Rogers, she went on, was “in the best situation to put a stop to anything that happened” but didn’t.

Rogers, 33, expressed contrition in addressing the judge as Rowley and the kids from her and Martin’s blended relationship looked on in the courtroom. “From the bottom of my soul, I promise you, this is not a thing I would have wanted for any of you. … None of you deserved this,” Rogers said.

In the end, though, Neider handed down consecutive sentences on several of the counts Rogers faced, though not all of them. Rogers, who had sought concurrent sentences, potentially minimizing her incarceration time, will spend “a very long time” in prison, the judge predicted.

On the most serious count of murder — charged as a party to the incident that led to Martin’s death, though she didn’t pull the trigger of the gun that killed him — she received a sentence of 15 years to life. She also received sentences of five years to life on aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary charges and one to 15 years imprisonment on an aggravated assault charge. She received one to 15 years on her fifth and final charge, obstructing justice.

The sentences on the aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary and aggravated assault charges are to be served concurrently, but consecutive to the sentences for murder and obstructing justice. Thus, she’s looking at 21 years to life imprisonment, notwithstanding the possibility of parole in years to come.

Martin was shot and killed during the 3 a.m. invasion at his home by Rayburn Bennett, just 16 at the time and now 19, and Liam Gale, 34, ostensibly there to rob the residence. Rowley, wrapping Christmas presents at the time, suffered the gunshot wound as Bennett and Gale fled. Rogers, for her part, had dropped Bennett and Gale off at the unit at the mobile home park at 5100 South 1050 West and picked them up after the incident, according to court papers.

Monday’s sentencing followed the jury decision in April finding Rogers guilty of the five counts she faced and the separate May 19 sentencing of Bennett, the main suspected gunman. Gale is set to go on trial starting July 31.

In addressing Monday’s sentencing hearing, Rowley, who has endured several operations due to the gunshot wound to her jaw, said she and her kids have internal and external wounds “that will never heal.” In asking for the “harshest, longest” sentence, she offered tough words.

“Brittany deserves no happiness in her life. In my case, I believe she should be burned at the stake and I would light the match,” she said.

One of Martin’s daughters, Kelsie, 17, also addressed the judge on behalf of the varied children Martin and Rowley have between them, ages 10 to 17. Rogers, apparently, was a family friend at one point months before the 2020 incident.

“We will forever be impacted by the choices Brittany made,” Kelsie said. Her dad, she went on, “will never see his grandchildren. He won’t be there for our future. He won’t see us grow up.”

Bennett, who testified against Rogers at her trial, has expressed remorse over the turn of events, taken responsibility for his role and cooperated with authorities in their investigation, officials say. He also directly faced Rowley and other family members in addressing them at his sentencing hearing.

“I’m ready to do whatever time, however long it takes for justice for Trevor Martin and Angela Rowley,” said Bennett, who authorities say was “heavily influenced” in the incident by Rogers and Gale, nearly twice his age. He received 15 years to life from Neider on each of the two counts he faced, including murder, to be served concurrently.

Rogers’ lawyer Randall Marshall, in arguing for concurrent sentences for his client, noted that she did not participate in the shootings of Martin and Rowley and that she had understood that only a robbery was to take place. She neither had a gun nor entered the home.

She was “swept up in something that took on a life of its own,” Marshall said.

By contrast, Brandon Miles, the prosecutor in the case, called Rogers “an essential part” of the chain of events that led to Martin’s death and the injury to Rowley. “She does not appear to understand the significance of her actions,” Miles said.

Rogers has said she was a victim of violence at the hands of Gale, and Marshall asked in a court filing last November that the rocky domestic situation be considered mitigating circumstances in her case. Neider, however, noted findings of a pre-sentence investigation that found Rogers had “sexual conversation” last February with Gale — both of them in jail — though she was ordered not to communicate with him.

“At one point [in a February 2023 phone conversation with Gale] she states, ‘You better tell me happy valentine’s day’ and then ‘it’s the day of love and you love me you [expletive deleted],'” reads the pre-sentence investigation. “When Liam Gale states that she should move on and find someone else, Brittany Rogers responds that she will continue to pursue him even while he is in prison.”


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