Execution date set for Conner

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 25, 2006

RALEIGH – A Hertford County man found guilty for a 1990 double homicide in Gates County will now pay for that crime.

On Tuesday, North Carolina Correction Secretary Theodis Beck set a May 12 execution date for Jerry Wayne Conner, age 40.

Conner, who since 1991 has been on Death Row at Central Prison in Raleigh, is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 2 a.m. on the aforementioned date.

On Aug. 18, 1990, Conner robbed a convenience store in the Corner High community on U.S. 13 in Gates County. There, he shot and killed Minh Luong Rogers, the proprietor of the store, and then raped, shot and killed her 16-year-old daughter, Linda Rogers.

In November of 1990, Conner was indicted for two counts of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree rape and one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon.

His capital murder trial was held during an April, 1991 session of Gates County Superior Court where a jury found him guilty of all charges and recommended that he be sentenced to death for the two first-degree murder convictions.

The trial court imposed death sentences for the murders, a sentence of life imprisonment for the first-degree rape and a prison sentence of 40 years for robbery with a firearm.

On appeal, the court found no error in the guilt-innocence phase of defendant’s trial, but vacated defendant’s death sentences and remanded for a new capital sentencing proceeding, one held in January of 1995 in Gates County Superior Court. There, a jury again recommended sentences of death for the first-degree murders and Conner was sentenced accordingly.