Rogers Murder Trial Begins In Broome County Court

By WBNG News

September 14, 2010 Updated Sep 14, 2010 at 6:56 PM EDT

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Opening arguments are underway at Broome County Court in the murder trial of a Binghamton man accused of murdering his girlfriend.

Francis "Frank" Rogers is facing multiple charges in the death of 25-year-old Katie Chappell in August 2009.

Chappell was found dead in her Kneeland Avenue apartment.

An autopsy concluded that she died from a blunt force trauma to the head.

The prosecutor in the case, Ben Bergman paints Chappell's boyfriend, 31-year-old Rogers, as an obsessive, jealous and controlling man.

From October 2008 through August 2009, Rogers was charged with assaulting Chappell several times.

Chappell got an order of protection against Rogers after he broke her hand in April 2009.

Through evidence, the prosecution will try to prove that Rogers assaulted Chappell to her death on August 12, 2009 after getting into a heated argument with her.

Defense Attorney Michael Korchak told the jury in his opening statement not to make judgments on her death based on past events. He says a lot of the facts provided by some of the witnesses may not be accurate because, at the time of their interaction with the couple, it was late at night and drinking was involved.

The defense will try to prove to the jury that the timeline of events that night does not match up.

The defense will also try to prove investigators tried to make it fit that Rogers killed Chappell.

Rogers is charged with murder, manslaughter and 16 other assault charges.

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