A California man will spend at least 26 years in prison for bludgeoning his married reality star girlfriend to death with a hammer in 2016 and burying her in a shallow grave in his backyard.
Jackie Jerome Rogers, 36, was sentenced Monday to 26 years to life in prison for the first-degree murder of Lisa Marie Naegle, 35, a married woman who was teaching a nursing class that he attended at West Los Angeles College. Naegle was last seen alive a week before Christmas at a birthday party she had attended with Rogers, according to the Daily Breeze.
Rogers used a hammer to strike Naegle in the head eight times as they argued in a fast food restaurant parking lot. While Rogers cleaned the vehicle, officers still located DNA evidence which linked him to the murder.
“According to evidence presented in court, the defendant then took her back to his home, buried her in his backyard and hit her two more times with the hammer to ensure she was dead before covering her body with dirt and manure,” the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office wrote in a statement. “Rogers then attempted to cover up the crime by disposing of all the victim’s belongings, washed her blood and tissue off the murder weapon and his car.”
KNBC reported that the missing ex-reality star’s body was found after her relatives saw surveillance footage of her presumably walking with Rogers and called the police. Rogers has remained jailed since his arrest on December 20, 2016, after he confessed to the murder and authorities recovered her body in the backyard of a home Rogers shared with his parents.
Rogers’ attorney said that their relationship turned sexual after Rogers received his certification. The pair had been in a relationship for six months, with Naegle telling her husband that Rogers was a gay friend of hers. She had also told her husband that she was attending the birthday party with her brother, the news outlet reported.
Defense attorneys argued that Rogers committed a crime of passion, killing Naegle because she manipulated and embarrassed him in public. However, prosecutors claimed Rogers was angry with Naegle in the days leading up to the murder because she had ignored his texts and calls. They also noted that an ex-coworker of Naegle’s spotted the hammer in Rogers’ car a month before the murder, suggesting premeditation.
In 2010, Naegle appeared on “Bridalplasty,” an E! reality show on which 12 soon-to-be-married women lived in a mansion and competed for their dream wedding and plastic surgery procedures. Naegle, who wed the following year, finished in fourth place.
According to The Mercury News, around the time of her disappearance, Naegle’s husband claimed they had scheduled fertility treatments to have a child.
[Featured image: Lisa Marie Naegle/video screenshot]