Bee reporters answer questions about area crime news, trends and other issues.
QUESTION: In the mid-1980s, Stephen Rogers was killed in Sacramento. Police found some of his body parts in the trunk of his car while another man was installing a stereo in the car in a Sacramento city alley. Who was convicted and what was the outcome of the trial?
Submitted by: Elizabeth Lady, Elk Grove
ANSWER: Timothy Robert Sugars admitted to the first-degree mutilation-murder of his friend, Stephen M. Rogers, and was sentenced to 27 years to life in prison.
According to stories in The Bee, Sugars was arrested in October 1986 for the slaying and dismemberment of Rogers after Sacramento police found Rogers' severed body parts in the trunk of a car in which Sugars was installing stereo speakers.
After first pleading not guilty, Sugars changed his plea to guilty two months later as part of an agreement that allowed him to avoid the death penalty, which would have been a possibility if he had gone to trial and been convicted.
According to the probation report, Sugars, who had been taking drugs, shot Rogers four times in the head while in the car with him. He then took the body to a deserted area of El Dorado County, where he dismembered it.
Sugars, now 52, is in California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville.
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