A Cloverdale teenager was sentenced Thursday in Putnam County Circuit Court for purposely hitting two other teenagers with a car on June 25.
Judge Matthew Headley sentenced Nicholas Gregory Rogers, 19, to five years with two-and-a-half years executed and two-and-a-half years probation for convictions on two counts of Class C felony battery by means of a deadly weapon.
Rogers was arrested on June 27 and has been in jail ever since. He will receive credit for the 223 days he has already served.
In exchange for his guilty plea to two charges, two additional charges each of Class B felony aggravated battery and Class D felony failure to stop after an accident against Rogers were dismissed.
According to court documents, Rogers allegedly intentionally struck Brett Elwood, 17, and Wade Davis, 19, both of Cloverdale, with a car in the street in the Stardust Hills subdivision in Cloverdale, where all three teens lived, before fleeing the scene.
Cloverdale Police Department Senior Patrolman Charles Hallam said when he arrived at the scene on June 25, Rogers was not there. Hallam said both victims identified Rogers as their assailant.
Elwood was so badly injured after being struck that he lost consciousness and was flown from the scene via Lifeline Helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, where he underwent surgery for a broken femur.
Davis was taken by ambulance to the Putnam County Hospital, where he was treated and released.
Rogers said Elwood "at one time was a good family friend," and described Davis as "an acquaintance."
In court Thursday, Rogers' mother, Lori Green, said she had been aware that there "were some problems going on in Stardust with (Rogers) and about seven other boys."
The scuffle between her son and the victims, she said, likely started when Green allowed a young woman, later identified as Elwood's girlfriend, to sleep on Green's couch for a couple of nights. The last night the young woman was in her home, Green said, she realized trouble could be brewing.
"There were five, seven, maybe nine boys who all wanted to jump (Rogers)," she said.
She said Elwood was one of that group, but that Davis was not. However, Davis came to the Green home the next morning to speak with Rogers.
"He was polite, he was nice to Nick," she said. "He acted like he wanted to be friends. He had Nick fooled."
Green said she believed Davis and Elwood were working together to lure her son out and harm him.
"I think Wade was setting him up," she said.
On the night he hit Elwood and Davis, Rogers said he "had a feeling something bad was going to happen." He said he was scared of Davis and Elwood, and that the men had flashed a pistol at him.
Rogers, Green and Davis ended up getting into an altercation during which Rogers' $500 cell phone was stolen. Rogers -- who Green described as having "a terrible temper" -- came home angry when his cell phone went missing. She and her husband left the house shortly thereafter, telling Rogers to stay in the house. Green said she planned to go speak to Davis and Elwood and get her son's phone back.
Rogers didn't stay home, though. He took Xanax that had not been prescribed to him, got into his car and drove off the confront Davis and Elwood.
"That's when the accident happened," Green said.
Rogers said his intent in going after Davis and Elwood was not to cause them harm.
"I'm sorry for what happened," he said in court. "I'm just sorry."
Green said her son has had behavior problems for as long as she can remember.
"He's probably needed to be on medication since birth," she said.
She said her son had been treated with various medications, and had also been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His fits of rage, she said, had been like "the flick of a switch."
Rogers was not on any medication when he hit Davis and Elwood with his car.
Rogers has lived with his mother in the Indianapolis area and in Putnam County all his life, save for six months between the time he was 15 and 16 when he lived in Colorado with Green's cousin. Rogers was convicted of an assault in Colorado.
Her son, Green said, has always seemed to fall in with the wrong crowds. She moved to Putnam Countyto try to get her son away from those crowds.
"It doesn't seem to be any better than Indianapolis," she said. "There's just as many bad kids."
Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter asked for eight years on each Class C felony county to run consecutively.
Rogers' court-appointed attorney, James Recker, called his client's crimes "a lapse in judgment" and asked for Rogers to be put on probation and released from jail with time served.
In addition to his jail time, Rogers will be required to pay restitution to his victims.