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Emily Welker, Published August 01 2013

Text messages will be admissible in Fargo murder trial

FARGO – Text messages a Fargo woman exchanged with her best friend moments before she was allegedly killed by her husband will be admissible in the husband’s upcoming trial.

Ronald William Rogers Jr., 46, is charged in Cass County District Court with Class AA felony murder, accused of shooting his wife, Elizabeth Rogers, in the head on Feb. 19 at their home 3522 30th Ave. S.

Rogers is also charged with one count of willful disturbance of a dead body, a misdemeanor. Court documents filed in the case say Rogers called police from the couple’s home at to say his wife had shot herself in the head. Police allege he tampered with the body to make her death appear to be a suicide.

In a hearing Thursday, Rogers’ public defender told Judge Lisa Fair McEvers that prosecutors will likely be able to lay the foundation at trial in order to introduce the messages Elizabeth Rogers shared with Krista Rankin.

Rankin testified at a previous hearing that Rogers texted her that her husband was breaking and throwing things, and she didn’t know what to do. Rankin texted back to ask if Elizabeth Rogers was safe, but she never responded.

Ronald Rogers has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The trial is set to start Sept. 23.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541