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Rogers Pleads Not Guilty in Car Chase : Crime: Suspect in serial killings enters plea in Kentucky, where authorities are awaiting extradition requests from four states.

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Alleged serial killer Glen Rogers pleaded not guilty Tuesday to three Kentucky felony charges stemming from a high-speed chase with state police, as Kentucky authorities awaited extradition requests from California and three other states that want to try him on murder charges.

Extradition requests are also expected from Florida, Louisiana and Mississippi for Rogers, who has been accused of a cross-country murder spree that allegedly began with the slaying of a Santa Monica woman after he met her in a Van Nuys bar Sept. 29.

Clad in a green jail jumpsuit and with hands and feet manacled, Rogers answered calmly but tersely when Circuit Court Judge William T. Jennings asked how he pleaded to two charges of first-degree wanton endangerment and one charge of criminal mischief.

The judge scheduled a jury trial on the car chase charges for Feb. 5. Each of the three charges carries a penalty of one to five years in prison.

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The extradition requests were being awaited by the office of Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones. A spokesman for Jones said earlier that the governor probably would send Rogers to the state with the strongest case against him in “a cooperative effort to decide where he should go first.”

Rogers’ court-appointed attorney, public defender Ernie Lewis, said outside the courtroom Tuesday that Rogers would not resist extradition “if a state wants him that doesn’t have a death penalty,” but all four states where charges are being filed have capital punishment.

Lewis also complained Tuesday that Ohio authorities had interrogated Rogers outside his presence Monday at the Madison County Detention Center, even after Lewis told the officers by telephone his client did not want to answer questions.

“I think it is shabby and unprofessional,” Lewis said outside the courtroom. “I cannot imagine a judge not throwing it out because it was made clearly after the invocation of the right to counsel.”

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