A convicted felon who says he deserves the dying penalty within the brutal beating dying of a fellow inmate, a North Naples man, heads to trial in northern Florida this week.
Jury choice for Shawn “Jiggaman” Rogers begins Wednesday in Milton on the Santa Rosa County Courthouse. Rogers, 36, faces the demise penalty if convicted.
Rogers is accused of raping, stabbing and beating to demise Ricky Martin, 24, of North Naples, in their Santa Rosa Correctional Institution cell in March 2012.
Investigators said Rogers, who has gang ties and an extensive history of violence behind bars, bound Martin’s hands and feet with strips of bed sheet and then beat him within 36 hours of Martin arriving at the Santa Rosa prison. Martin was found lying in a pool of blood with his pants and underwear down to his knees.
Rogers stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 232 pounds, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website. He was sentenced to life in Volusia County in 2002 on charges of robbery with a gun or deadly weapon and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
The 5-foot-10 Martin, who weighed about 150 pounds at the time of his death, moved to Naples when he was 2 after his parents were killed in Ohio.
Martin died April 8, 2012, about a week after being removed from life support at a Pensacola hospital.
A 2015 Miami Herald article about the killing raised questions about why Martin, a nonviolent offender, was placed in a cell with Rogers, who has a long history of attacking and beating other inmates. Rogers, in a letter to a judge, called himself one of the state’s most violent prisoners.
Rogers detailed in the letter how he killed Martin, which Rogers said he began by tying up, cutting and beating Martin with a sock filled with batteries until the sock fell apart and the batteries spilled out.
Four months before Martin was transferred to the Santa Rosa prison, he filed a grievance with the Department of Corrections claiming his life was being threatened, the Herald reported.
Martin was serving a five-year prison sentence for breaking into a Golden Gate home and stealing guns in August 2007. He had less than two years left on his sentence at the time of his killing.
Before his final prison stint, Martin had racked up 11 arrests as a juvenile and adult, largely for burglary, theft and probation violations in Collier County.
Martin’s family in 2016 filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, alleging that Gov. Rick Scott and other state officials caused, and then covered up, systemic failures that the suit claims led to widespread abuse and a record number of inmate deaths in the Florida prison system.
The suit remains in the courts.
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