Battered woman plea doesn't help in Ottawa County attack case

Becky Vargo • Apr 1, 2019 at 8:00 AM

A Lansing woman was sent to prison for a minimum four years for her part in attempted 2017 murder in Georgetown Township despite her attorney’s claims the woman was cowed into helping her husband in the attack. 

Defendant Brooklyne Dae Rogers, 27, told the judge, “I wouldn’t be alive right now if I didn’t do what he told me to do. I had to do what I had to do to stay alive.”

But Judge Karen Miedema emphasized that the court didn’t want to forget about the victim.

“He was left for dead at a very gruesome crime scene,” Miedema said. “You stayed in the kitchen during the beating. You heard him moaning.”

The judge said the woman participated in the event and never mentioned any concern for the victim. 

Police said that Bret Bardwell entered his father's home and beat him with a blunt object while his father was lying in bed, according to a WZZM-TV story after the October 2017 incident. After the attack, Bradwell's father was able to call for help from a neighbor's home. Already disabled, the Vietnam War veteran suffered head and facial injuries, as well as a broken wrist.

Police said that Bardwell had no previous run-ins with police and believe the incident stemmed from a family dispute.

Bardwell, 35, was sentenced on Jan. 17, to a minimum of 5 and up to 20 years in prison on convictions of home invasion and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder.

During the March 25 sentencing for Rogers, Judge Miedema noted that both Rogers and her husband, Bardwell were responsible for $33,153 in restitution.

Miedema went over some of the facts of the incident during the hearing.

The judge said that Rogers drove her husband to the house and knew of his plan to attack his father. Rogers used a key to unlock the door and stayed in the kitchen, even though she could hear her father-in-law crying out for help.

Defense Attorney Kara Sova noted that her client had suffered for many years at the hands of her husband. Because of him, Rogers was forced to leave her job and school. She also didn’t have a phone.

“She was forced to drive him around,” Sova said. “He would ride in the back seat. She would act as a chauffeur.”

Sova said her client was standing in front of the judge because she was afraid of her husband. 

“She didn’t want to get hammered,” Sova said. “She was dealing with the same crazy man who attacked his father. He definitely deserves to be in prison. She doesn’t.”

The attorney said her client was working, going back to college and making friends again. Rogers has no criminal history and has not committed any offenses since this incident.

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