VERNAL — A Uintah County man is being held without bail in connection with the death of his 6-month-old son.
Chad Lewis Rogers, 26, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of murder following an interview with Uintah County sheriff's detectives who are looking into the Aug. 26 death of his son, Dominic Kazz Rogers.
On Aug. 24, detectives were called to Ashley Regional Medical Center, where doctors were working to stabilize Dominic so he could be flown to Primary Children's Hospital. One of the doctors showed detectives a scan of the boy's head that showed "fresh bleeding" in his brain, a jail report states.
Detectives spoke with Rogers and his wife, Brittany Rogers, at the hospital. The couple told investigators their son had begun choking while in his crib about 1 a.m. They said they called 911 and started CPR while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.
After the baby's death, detectives tried to interview his parents again and a 17-year-old relative who was at the family's home on Aug. 24. The teenage relative told investigators she watched the Rogers' three children while they went to the store for a couple of hours that night, noting that Dominic was "fine for her, alert and happy," the report states.
The couple returned home at some point and Brittany Rogers went outside with the 17-year-old to sit around a fire pit. The two women told investigators that Chad Rogers opened one of the home's doors about 1 a.m. and looked out at them.
The teenager told investigators Brittany Rogers got up and went into the house, and she followed her inside a few minutes later.
"(She) said she entered (Dominic's) room at the end of the hall to see Chad holding and administering CPR on (Dominic) with Brittany on the phone with 911 receiving instructions," the report states.
Detectives said they were initially "met with resistance" when they tried to interview the Rogers about their son's death. The parents had hired separate attorneys to represent them in a child custody case involving their two surviving children that was filed following Dominic's death, the report states.
Detectives learned from the medical examiner that Dominic had suffered a brain stem injury, as well as bleeding in his brain and damage to the vessels in his eyes.
"No bumps or bruises were noted on the child's body," Uintah County sheriff's detective Brandon Cottam said Thursday. "(The doctors') indication was that the injuries were internal and not accidental."
The medical examiner told Cottam the injuries were consistent with someone who had been "forcefully shaken in a manner causing internal brain and/or spinal cord injuries."
The doctor who treated Dominic at Primary Children's Hospital also said "the onset of fatal symptoms by this violent shaking would have been instant," the jail report states.
Detectives said they were finally able to interview Brittany Rogers on Feb. 13. The mother, who filed for divorce one month after her son's death, told investigators she entered her son's room to find her husband holding the boy over his shoulder and patting his back in an apparent effort to burp him.
"Brittany said while Chad was holding (the boy, he) went limp in Chad's arms, unresponsive and turned blue," the report states, noting that Brittany Rogers immediately called 911.
Investigators interviewed Chad Rogers on Wednesday. He said when he heard his son choking, he returned to the boy's room and lifted him out of his crib, the report states.
"Chad said he placed (Dominic) on his back in his crib again and shook (him), trying to wake him by placing his hands on (his) shoulders," the report states.
Detectives said Rogers told them he was shaking the baby "on his shoulder, just like all parents do when burping babies," but later added, "Maybe I did it too hard." Shortly after that, Rogers declined to answer any more questions without an attorney present.