Trial Underway in 1979 Northern Wisconsin Slaying

Posted Monday, December 8, 2008 --- 10:45 a.m.

LADYSMITH, Wis. (AP) -- Court officials say a 14-person Douglas County jury will hear evidence that a Ladysmith man killed a college student in 1979.

Harry "John" Rogers is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of 27-year-old Robert Pfeil, Jr., outside Pfeil's rural Ladysmith home in a dispute prosecutors say escalated because of the killing of Pfeil's dogs.

Clerk of Courts Renae Baxter said the jury was picked last week in Superior and opening statements in the expected weeklong trial were planned Monday in Ladysmith.

John Rogers was convicted in October 2006 and sentenced to life in prison after he admitted he shot and killed Pfeil in a plot hatched by his brother and sister-in-law. But a year ago, a judge allowed Rogers to withdraw a no contest plea to the charge.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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