"To me, it's amazing that somebody could put a gun to somebody's head, blow their brains out essentially, and a jury finds them guilty of third-degree murder and not first." With that, Jackie Mineo sums up the outrage over her nephew's 2017 murder and 44-year-old Barbara Rogers' subsequent conviction and sentence of 15 to 40 years in a Pennsylvania prison, per BRCTV 13. In Rogers' telling, she didn't want to kill 32-year-old boyfriend Steven Mineo—in fact, she was planning a life with him—but he had other plans linked to his belief that "reptilian" aliens could hide within humans. The details:
- Rogers and Mineo were followers of Sherry Shriner, an internet conspiracy theorist. Shriner came to see Rogers' cravings for raw meat as a sign that she was one of the enemy, specifically a reptilian alien at the helm of a "New World Order" threatening humanity, according to NJ.com.
- Rogers told police that Mineo eventually came to suspect it was Shriner who was the one possessed, and that he had a falling out with her group that distressed him. On the night he died, Rogers said he put the gun in her hands, pressed it to his head, and forced her to pull the trigger, per the Washington Post. She told police she didn't know the gun was loaded.
- "My boyfriend had a gun … He told me to hold it here and press the trigger. Oh my God, he's dead!" she said in a 911 call placed from the couple's apartment near Tobyhanna in the early hours of July 15, 2017. Prosecutors said Mineo was shot in the forehead at point-blank range.
- Rogers refused to plead guilty to third-degree murder—which requires life-threatening conduct but not an intent to kill—ahead of her first-degree murder trial, which began in March, per the Post.
- Following her conviction, Rogers told reporters gathered at the Monroe County court that she "was not in control of the situation that happened," per BRCTV 13. "I was not the dominating party in that situation."
- Mineo's family disagreed. "She got a big break," aunt Jackie Mineo said, per BRCTV 13. Added mother Donna Mineo, "What happened to my son is permanent. Her sentence should be permanent. It was totally unfair."
- The New Republic has much more on the beliefs of what it terms "a diabolical lizard cult," noting YouTube has allowed its wild ideas, including that the Democratic Party is a tool of Satanic reptilian aliens, to reach tens of thousands of people.
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