A 29-year-old Omaha man charged in the shooting death of a marijuana dealer is headed to trial.

On Monday, Douglas County Judge Darryl Lowe ordered Forrest R. Cox III to stand trial in last year’s slaying of Laron Rogers, 25.

Prosecutors say Cox shot Rogers during a robbery on March 6, 2017, at a convenience store near North 42nd Street and Ames Avenue.

Cox was arrested last month. He is charged with first-degree murder, use of a weapon to commit a felony and being a felon in possession of a weapon.

Prosecutors said Cox had met Rogers to buy marijuana. Cox pulled a gun and robbed Rogers of $1,140, prosecutors said, then fled in a white Chevy Impala with no license plates.

Cellphone records show that Cox’s phone “pinged” at 42nd and Ames at the time of the shooting, prosecutors said.

Detective Ryan Hinsley said at Monday’s court hearing that at least two witnesses and surveillance video placed Cox in the Impala. He said Rogers was found in the parking lot after getting out of the car and collapsing.

Rogers died at a hospital two weeks later.

Hinsley said police had no record of Rogers being a major drug player. “I would consider him a low-level dealer,’’ he said.

Late in Monday’s hearing, about a half-dozen of Cox’s supporters grew vocal and were ushered out of the courtroom by Douglas County sheriff’s deputies.

“They’re trying to pin a murder on my brother,’’ one woman said of Cox. “They (prosecutors) don’t even have a weapon.’’

Cox served a four-year sentence for a robbery in October 2008. He also served time for escape.

Sign up for The World-Herald's afternoon updates

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

jay.withrow@owh.com, 402-444-1259

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.