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Jailed Rogers Appeals to Seahawks

From Associated Press

Reggie Rogers says that if the Seattle Seahawks could give Derrick Fenner a chance, he should get one, too.

Rogers, 26, a star defensive end at the University of Washington and first-round draft choice of the Detroit Lions in 1987, was convicted of negligent homicide after a traffic accident in which three teen-agers died on Oct. 20, 1988.

Evidence showed he had been drinking heavily before the accident. He was sentenced to 16 to 24 months in prison.

Rogers has served 18 days at the Michigan state prison in Jackson and 11 months at Camp Brighton, a minimum-security institution in Pinckney.

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Eligible for parole next month, Rogers said Tuesday that he planned to move to Seattle and perhaps play for the Seahawks.

“I’d like to play for them,” he told the Seattle Times. “They took a chance with Derrick Fenner. I hope they have the same compassion with me.”

Fenner, a running back, carried for 859 yards and 14 touchdowns to tie a club scoring record this season, his second with the Seahawks after a troubled college career and a guilty plea to cocaine possession.

The Seahawks called Rogers for a physical exam after the Lions released him in 1989.

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Club President Tom Flores declined to comment on whether the team would be interested in Rogers.

Rogers said he has been working out in the prison weight room and can bench-press 420 pounds.

Rogers said he had recovered from a fractured neck and other injuries from the crash, in which his car ran a red light and slammed broadside into the car carrying the teen-agers. The father of the driver has sued for burial expenses and unspecified damages.

In the interview with the Seattle Times, Rogers said he wanted to “clear my name.”

“It’s a terrible shame what happened but I hope the truth comes out,” he said. “They’re trying to make me look like a monster. I’m not a monster.”

Willett and two of his cousins, Kelly Ess, 18, and Dale Ess, 17, both of Versailles, Mo., were killed.


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