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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Bail reset for suspect in campus kidnapping

Bail has been nearly doubled and formal charges have been brought against the suspect in last week's kidnapping from Johnson Field.

Caleb Rogers was arraigned in Metro Court Thursday, and Judge Wayne Griego increased his initial jail bond from $82,000 to $150,000 based upon the seriousness of the crimes he is alleged to have committed.

"At this point he is charged with some serious felony offenses," said Deputy District Attorney Julie Altwies.

During the arraignment, Griego said he found there to be probable cause for Rogers to be brought before a grand jury on four felony charges.

It will be up to the grand jury, which should hear Rogers' case later this week, to determine if he should be indicted on the same, or different, charges.

The felony charges Rogers is facing now include first-degree kidnapping, third-degree aggravated battery, third-degree attempted sexual penetration and fourth-degree aggravated fleeing from a law enforcement officer.

If Rogers is convicted on all charges, he could face more than 25 years in prison, Altwies said.

"Based on the evidence we have, we believe this is a very serious case," she said, adding that the only charge that carries mandatory minimum sentencing is first-degree kidnapping; carrying a sentence of 12-18 years.

During the arraignment, Griego was told by officials from pretrial services that Rogers has a misdemeanor arrest record and they suggested the cost of his bond be increased.

Pretrial service is an objective entity of the court meant to inform the judges of the defendant's background including prior arrests and convictions, personal information and if it thinks the defendant poses a flight-risk.

As of Thursday, Rogers was being held at the West Side Metropolitan Detention Center.

By law, Rogers' case must be heard before the grand jury within 10 days of his arraignment or the district attorney's office will be required to reassess what avenues for prosecution are available, Altwies said.

The charges against Rogers are based on an incident where he allegedly ran over a UNM student while she jogged around Johnson Field early Monday morning.

Police say Rogers struck the student with the vehicle he was driving, dragged her inside, possibly sexually assaulted her and then led them on a high-speed chase that ended in a crash and foot pursuit.

The student, a 19-year-old sophomore, was treated and released from University Hospital the same day.