A Pennsylvania woman with ties to an online cult was sentenced to prison Monday for fatally shooting her boyfriend in the head in 2017.
Barbara Rogers, 42, will spend 15 to 40 years behind bars for the third-degree murder Steven Mineo, 32. Mineo and Rogers were members of “Sherry Shriner,” which police characterized as an Ohio-based cult which focuses on aliens and the apocalypse, according to USA Today.
The Pocono Record reported that Rogers claimed Mineo asked her to kill him because he believed the cult leader was “reptilian” but posing as a human. Rogers said her boyfriend put the gun to his head before placing her hands around it and telling her to pull the trigger.
“My boyfriend had a gun. He told me to hold it here and press the trigger. Oh my God, he’s dead!” she told a 911 dispatcher from her Coolbaugh Township apartment, according to the Pocono Record.
Rogers later told police she didn’t realize the .45-caliber handgun was loaded at the time and called the fatal incident an accident. The mother-of-three also claimed Mineo was having issues with the cult and became suicidal, PennLive reported.
“I was not in control of the situation that happened,” Rogers said Monday, according to The Washington Post. “I was not the dominating party in that situation.”
Prosecutors expressed disappointment at what they called a lenient sentence. Meanwhile, Rogers told reporters that she plans to appeal Monday’s sentence
“You go back to the scene and you have the victim with a gunshot wound, point blank to the middle of his forehead, so close that there’s burns around the wound, there’s the star pattern in his forehead,” Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Andrew Kroeckel said.
“Who knows what could happen in 15 years from now when she gets out? Who knows what could happen when she’s in state prison?”
[Featured image: Barbara Rogers/Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department]