Skip to comments.Noble [OK] family who lost son wants expungement law changed [5 y/o killed by cop]
Posted on 08/15/2013 10:35:36 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows
NORMAN Six years ago, a Noble family lost their 5-year-old son, Austin Haley, to a former police officers stray bullet. They recently found out the same officer has since had his record expunged, and the family is now on a mission to change the law allowing that to happen.
In 2007, former police officer Paul Bradley Rogers and his former supervising officer, Robert Shawn Richardson, responded to a neighbors 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, Austins 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) wasnt 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 wouldve 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.
We really feel like weve had no advocate from the get-go. No attorney. No one to speak for us, she said. They did talk to us every once in a while, but there was always a lesser thing done. There was no jail time and very little community service.
The DA promised this will never be taken off their record, and here we are in this situation now.
Haley said the only person they really had to turn to was the district attorney, and she felt he was always asking them to do a lesser thing, asking if they were really sure they wanted the officers to have jail time.
It was just hard on us and they havent received anything, in my opinion, she said. Now its even off the record.
Local attorney Dave Stockwell said the expungement happened as a matter of law, but it is not something that will truly ever be off the officers record. The case will no longer be available on a court record or available on the online court database, but it will show up on any background check, whether its through Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation or the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Stockwell said the officers also will still show up in any Internet search you do.
He cant run and hide from this thing, he said.
Stockwell said the former officer may have done the required community service, and then the courts recognized it and ruled to expunge the incident from his record.
Stockwell said he handles about four to five expungements per week and misdemeanor expungements are different than felony expungements, especially when dealing with a violent crime.
Haley said even with the crime showing up on background checks, she feels as though it is still being deleted from the public eye.
You can no longer see Brad Rogers file, she said.
Haley said she and her husband, Jack, have already started the process of trying to get the law off the books. She said theyve talked to senators, representatives and are on their way to talk to the governor, hoping to get with everyone by September to get the law changed.
We cant let this go on, she said. It just isnt right.
The day their 5-year-old boy was shot dead was not an accident, she said. It was negligence.
On the day of the incident, she said the officers never asked anybody that day if anyone was behind the birdhouse Rogers was shooting toward. The officers didnt know that Austin was down at the Haleys family owned pond with his grandfather and younger brother.
The first shot went between my dads legs while he stood there on the dock, Haley said, adding that her dad felt the bullet move his pants and saw it land in the pond in front of him. He started screaming, Stop dont shoot theres someone down here.
About six seconds later, there was a second bullet fired, which again missed the snake but traveled through the back of Austins head, killing him.
Haley said they are still missing Austin and have since forgiven the officers, but what theyre trying to do is more for the public. She said while they understand the officer didnt point his gun at their son, they still dont see it as an accident.
They can become police officers again, she said. No one in the city of Noble would want that.
"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
How sad is that? Sorry, I just don’t understand how that could happen, who calls the police to remove a snake? Last time I had a poisonous brown snake INSIDE THE HOUSE I called a wild-life service (volunteers) and a very brave, patient young man came, caught it, placed it into a bag and took it away to release in the bush.
Who in their right mind would call the police, and more to the point, why would armed men show up to deal with a snake? We sure do live in a different world...I feel so sad for that family. Poor little boy.
A lot of freepers have said that there’s no situation that can’t be made worse by calling the police. I’m starting to agree with them.
I think if had called the police to remove the brown snake in my house, they would have said, ‘go away you crazy lady, we’ve got better things to do than chase snakes!’
But the cop didn't do that. Instead, he chose to deal with it in a reckless manner and ended up killing a little boy. Now it looks like he's getting a slap on the wrist.
Any thoughts on that?
Maybe I am a bit off point here but to me these cops are more than just a bit stupid here besides the fact that they are shooting willy nilly with out regard to where the bullets are going.
First off where I work we always coach our employees to stay in roll. That is if you are an electrician dont go off welding because that is not your roll and you may do it wrong and screw it up. Here these cops are doing a job that an animal control officer should be doing. Well they screwed it up.
The other thing here is that the home owner called to ask that the snake be removed from the bird house. When they asked that the snake be removed I doubt very much that they expected or wanted their bird house to be destroyed in the process. It is pretty obvious that if you shoot a snake in a bird house that the bird house is going to be destroyed as a consequence.
These cops were not thinking about the consequences of their actions on this particular day. One has to ask what kind of screw ups had this pair had previous to this day.
Anything I might think can’t make any difference now. The damage is done. There’s something wrong in the assumption that the way to deal with a snake is to call the police and armed men arrive and shoot it.
It all ends up sounding like the thirteen armed men who showed up to remove an orphamed deer. One misstep and all h+ll could break loose.
A vet with a syringe was all that was needed.
A young volunteer with a hessian bag and a bent stick got rid of my snake.
You want me to comment on what happens after? He killed the boy. He meant to kill the snake. It’s tragic. My opinion isn’t going to make it better. Locking him up won’t change anything.
” You want me to comment on what
happens after? He killed the boy. He
meant to kill the snake. Its tragic. My
opinion isnt going to make it better.
Locking him up wont change anything.”
It might cause other officers to start using judgement and start thinking about their responsibility.
In Norman OK when you have a non-human critter on your property that you want removed, and you don't want to do the job yourself, you call the police? (I'd call an exterminator.)
No, the cops were doing a job that should have been done by the family or a neighbor. If we are to the point that we have to call the government to solve all our problems then we deserve Obama.
That story makes no sense.
The only tim I’ve ever called a cop was when my house was burgularized. Other than that, if you call a cop you are asking for trouble.
The version of that I like is “There are few situations that cant be made worse by the addition of a cop.”
Australia’s 10 most dangerous snakes
People call the police for everything because the general perception that are very good problem solvers. (And there’s no visible service charge).
Not to mention that it’s 4P (piss poor public perception) to tell people “No, we won’t be responding to a call for (animal in house)(plumbing problem)(Johnny didn’t do his homework)(I have a headache and I need an amberlamps; happens all the time).
That says it all.
How do you aim for center of mass on a snake? It's not a rhetorical question - how do you shoot something that small, and moving, in a vital organ (I have NO idea of the anatomy of snakes, nor I'm sure do the police involved)?
“First off where I work we always coach our employees to stay in roll.”
I believe the word you’re looking for in that context is ‘role.’ :)
Flame suit on: Justice wasn’t served originally when the LEO’s got a slap on the wrist, especially the supervisor who ordered the rookie cop to shoot at the snake, although both were culpable in misusing a firearm that resulted in the death of the little boy.
HOWEVER. The (court) battle is over and this family using their influence to change the law to stop expungement of records after the fact doesn’t seem right. Because if they are successful in stopping expungement of records, that will affect everyone, not just the two LEO. That means that if (generic) YOU are involved in a felony, (generic) you will never be able to have your record expunged, and (generic) you will never be allowed to vote or own a gun again. For the rest of your (generic) life.
Of course ... if it was one of US ....
Some nitwit shot a gun in the air on the 4th of July near Richmond and the bullet came down and killed a kid. If they ever find him, you know he's gonna’ get 10 years. Unless he's a cop.