Crown expects Red Deer man to enter guilty pleas in historical murder cases

By James Wood
June 8, 2017 - 12:23pm

Gordon Alfred Rogers is expected to plead guilty to murder in September.

Rogers, a resident of Red Deer, Alta, was arrested and placed in custody in March of 2016.

He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Jeanette Chief and Violet Heathen, both of whom were residents of Onion Lake Cree Nation, north of Lloydminster.

The body of Chief, 48, was found near Hillmond, Sask, in June 2007, four days after she was last seen in Lloydminster. Heathen, who was 49, was last seen in the same city in May 2009. Her remains were found that December near the village of Kitscoty, Alta.

Following a lengthy investigation by both the Alberta and Saskatchewan branches of the RCMP, Rogers was arrested and charged in March 2016.

Police have said Rogers was living in Red Deer, Alta, at the time of the murders and had a relationship with Heathen, but did not know Chief. Rogers had lived and worked in the Lloydminster area prior to living in Red Deer.

Rogers’s last appearance on the charges was on May 8 in Vermilion, Alta, when a preliminary hearing was held to determine whether or not Rogers would go to trial.

The outcome of the hearing was an order for Rogers to head to trial, though a date for the trial was undetermined.

However, Rogers made an appearance at the Court of Queen’s Bench in St. Paul, Alta, on June 5, 2017. During the appearance, Rogers’s case was waived out of St.Paul, and sent to the Queen’s Bench court in Edmonton.

Chief Crown Prosecutor Jeff Rudiak said he expects Rogers to enter guilty pleas for second-degree murder, on both files.

His next court appearance will take place on September 8.

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