Authorities in Pennsylvania say a woman was arrested on suspicion of fatally shooting her boyfriend in a homicide she later reportedly blamed on cult members.
According to the New York Post, 42-year-old Barbara Rogers allegedly shot Stephen Mineo at their residence in Tobyhanna in July 2017.
She has since claimed that members of a cult led by Sherry Shriner, which promotes the existence of extraterrestrial aliens, began targeting her and the victim in the days before his death. The stress became too much, she asserted, and he asked her to kill him.
On the night of his death, Rogers reportedly said she went out drinking with Mineo and later entered a wooded area with his loaded handgun to fire the fatal shot. She said he placed the .45-caliber firearm to his own head and prompted her to pull the trigger, a narrative echoed in her 911 call at the time.
“My boyfriend has a gun,” she said. “He told me to hold it here and press the trigger. Oh my god, he’s dead!”
The prosecution’s story, however, portrays her actions as deliberate and is pursuing charges of murder in the third degree, to which she has pleaded not guilty.
Shriner has disputed Rogers’ allegations, too, indicating his group attempted to direct Mineo away from his girlfriend and saying she “was dangerous and he was just blinded by her,” according to the Herald Sun.
[Featured image: Barbara Rogers, Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department]