BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Local television celebrity Scott Rogers was shot to death Wednesday as a federal grand jury was hearing a case that, in Rogers eyes, had the potential to destroy him, his attorney said.
Police say they believe Rogers' son-in-law Mathew Hodgkinson, who was also the producer of his television show Around Town, shot and killed him and then tried to kill himself.
Attorney Seth Dornier told WAFB Wednesday evening that the federal government was looking into several issues related to Rogers, mainly focusing on whether Rogers lied on government documents.
Dornier says, in the 1990s, Rogers operated a dance school in England. He says a 13-year-old boy who was a student at the school failed a drug test and was being kicked out of the school. He says Rogers told him the boy made up allegations that Rogers had been molesting him. Dornier says Rogers went to trial on child molestation charges but the boy and the boy's father eventually came clean, admitting they had lied about the molestation. Rogers, who he says was acquitted, eventually moved to the United States and changed his first name when he and his daughter became U.S. citizens.
While living in Louisiana, Rogers adopted a boy who is now about 10 years old. He was also a foster parent for a 2-year-old boy with special needs, the attorney said. Earlier this month, the attorney says federal law enforcement officials took both children away, saying they were investigating why Rogers lied about his name on immigration, adoption, and foster parent paperwork. Both children have since remained in state custody, the attorney said.
Mathew Hodgkinson, the accused killer was also a former dance student of Rogers while in England, he said. Dornier says Hodgkinson moved to the U.S. and married Rogers' biological daughter. Hodgkinson was also the producer of the Around Town show which aired on WAFB. Hodgkinson, who used the last name "Hodgkins" in his professional career, left a voicemail for WAFB Tuesday morning saying the show was being cancelled because of a "family catastrophe."
Dornier says he has had multiple meetings with Rogers in the past several weeks. He says Rogers was worried that the child molestation allegations made against him in England would resurface here and destroy him. And, he says, the TV host was worried that he would be denaturalized and forced to return to England. Investigators said they responded to the Rogers home last week to investigate a report that Rogers had taken a large number of pills.
Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi says an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday. Hodgkinson was rushed to a Baton Rouge hospital where Wednesday evening he remained on a ventilator in critical condition.