When opening arguments begin today in the attempted capital murder case of Darnell Rogers, he’ll be the one asking a Bexar County jury for a not guilty verdict as he acts as his own defense attorney.

Rogers was 22 when he was shot in the upper torso and critically wounded on Sept. 18, 2015, after he allegedly pointed a gun at deputies from the Bexar County Constable Precinct 4 office.

San Antonio police officers and three constable’s deputies had responded to a call about a shooting in the 3800 block of East Southcross on the Southeast Side. As officers searched an apartment complex off Pecan Grove, they found one of two suspects holding a gun.

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At least one of the deputies shot Rogers, and the second suspect escaped. The injuries left Rogers paralyzed from the waist down and he uses a wheelchair.

Now 23, Rogers spent Wednesday in 227th District Court, questioning a pool of 84 potential jurors. A jury was empaneled late in the day.

“Everyone involved in certain crimes has rights,” state District Judge Kevin O’Connell told the potential jurors. “Mr. Rogers has indicated to me his desire to represent himself.”

Rogers took notes and conferred with defense attorney Philip Bozzo Jr., appointed to assist him, as prosecutors Jessica Schulze and Julie Wright questioned the panel on their opinions of police officers, violent crime, guns, and whether they could hear the evidence and be fair.

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Some said they could not be fair because they are related to law enforcers or count them among their friends. Others who said they identified on the side of law enforcement or had a distrust of the police said they still could be fair.

“I think the case would be unfair because I don’t think the man should represent himself,” one potential juror said.

Opening statements are expected to begin at 9:30 a.m. Attempted capital murder is a first-degree felony. If convicted, Rogers has said he wants the jury to decide his punishment. He faces five to 99 years or life in prison.

Twitter: @elizabeth2863



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