NORMAN — One of the former police officers found guilty in the 2007 shooting death of a 5-year-old Noble boy has had his record expunged despite the violent nature of the crime, a fact that troubles Austin Haley's parents who fear he may one day take another job in law enforcement.
Jack Haley, the boy's father, said he is surprised a judge granted the expungement given that Paul Bradley Rogers was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, a violent felony. When records are expunged, they are essentially deleted from general public view.
Rogers, who was still in training as a Noble police officer when he accidentally shot the boy in the head in August 2007, received a deferred sentence.
He did not serve jail time, nor did Robert Shawn Richardson, who was Rogers' supervisor the day Austin Haley was shot dead.
Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said the expungement is legal because Rogers, now 40, agreed to have his sentence deferred shortly before he was sentenced in March 2008.
Mashburn, who was not aware of Rogers' expungement until Monday, said there is a provision in Oklahoma law that allows offenders who successfully complete the terms of a deferred sentence to seek an expungement, even if the crime is violent in nature.
Attempts to reach Rogers for comment were not successful.
Haley said he wants people to know that Rogers' record has been expunged.
“We want to make it as public as possible,” Haley said about the expungement. “We don't want him getting another position in law enforcement anywhere. Ever.”
Jack Haley said that Rogers and Richardson, 35, received “special treatment” throughout the criminal proceedings related to his son's shooting death and accused Mashburn of going easy on members of law enforcement who wind up in the court system.
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