EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 27, 2012

Charges dropped for two in home invasion

One faced murder charge, the other accessory to crime

HAVERHILL — Charges have been dismissed against two men who were linked by police to two shooting deaths in a home invasion on River Street in July.

The cases against Jonas Rogers, charged in the deaths of William Melchionda and Anddy Guzman, and Matthew Rogers, no relation, who was charged with being an accessory after the fact and misleading a police investigation, were dismissed yesterday when the Essex District Attorney’s Office said it was not prepared to proceed with probable cause hearings.

The charges against Jonas Rogers, 25, of Haverhill were dismissed in Haverhill District Court at the request of his lawyer, Arthur Kelly of Newton.

“The state had no evidence to put forward, they did not request another date, and in return I asked that they dismiss the case and they did,” Kelly told The Eagle-Tribune following yesterday’s hearing. “It’s clear to me that Jonas Rogers was wrongfully charged in this case, and fortunately today the case was rightfully dismissed.”

Rogers was arrested and charged with murder on July 31, eight days after the shootings, and ordered held without bail.

At the time, police said people they interviewed told them Jonas Rogers spoke after the shootings about being involved in the home invasion. At a hearing on Sept. 27, he was released on personal recognizance, as the district attorney’s office asked the court for more time to present evidence to a grand jury seeking an indictment against him.

In the case against Matthew Rogers, 26, of 1068 Essex St., Lawrence, police said he gave Juan Carlos Sanchez of Lawrence, who was indicted on murder charges in the deaths earlier this week, a ride at one point after the shootings to help Sanchez avoid police who were tracking him.

“Based on the investigation, we felt that it was in the best interest of justice to dismiss the charges against him,” Essex District Attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball-Monahan said about Matthew Rogers. She refused to give more details about the reason for the dismissal.

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