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Laron Rogers

The sentencing was expected and standard.

Forrest R. Cox III will spend the rest of his life in prison for his involvement in the fatal shooting of Laron Rogers in March 2017, during a purported marijuana deal.

Yet Cox’s parting words — cussing at Rogers’ family members — made it clear to them he wasn’t remorseful. Rogers’ aunt, Connie Rogers, said Cox has mimed popping his collar and brushing his shoulder off during his trial, actions Connie Rogers took to mean he didn’t care.

“He thought he was dealing with a friend and he was dealing with a foe,” said Laron’s mother, Caroline Rogers. “That child did not deserve to get shot in his back.”

Cox, who was already a felon, was found guilty of first-degree murder, weapon use and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person by a jury after seven hours of deliberation in May. Douglas County District Judge Kimberly Pankonin sentenced Cox to the mandatory life in prison for the murder charge, plus 65 to 75 years on the weapons charges.

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Another man is the suspected shooter, but prosecutors have said there isn’t enough evidence to charge him. Cox was convicted under the law that holds accomplices accountable when someone dies during a robbery.

Cox, now 31, met Rogers on March 6, 2017, at the Ames Avenue Convenience Store at 4145 Ames Ave., under the assumption he was going to buy marijuana.

But Cox flashed a gun, robbed Rogers of $1,100 and fled in a white Chevy Impala with no license plates.

Rogers, 25, died from his injuries two weeks later.

Caroline Rogers said Cox’s family “didn’t have to watch their family member slip away slowly for days.”

She said her prayers were answered when her son — the youngest with three older sisters — was born. She said he was a hard worker, loving and kind. He worked at a Boost Mobile cellphone store.

“I had 25 great years with him,” Caroline Rogers said. “He was a good child. I can’t believe that evil came into his life and took him.”

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Alia Conley covers breaking news, crime, crime trends, the Omaha Police Department and initial court hearings. Follow her on Twitter @aliavalentine. Phone: 402-444-1068.

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