East Canton man sentenced to life for Bob Evans murder of ex-lover


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It’s been 192 days since Richard Nelson walked into the Bob Evans at Lesh Street and U.S. Route 62 and shot his ex-lover, Rebecca Rogers, 38.

Nelson was found guilty by a Stark County jury of the most severe charge of them all, aggravated murder.

On Monday afternoon, Nelson was sentenced to the maximum sentence: life in prison without parole. He was also sentenced another three years for a firearm specification.

Stark County Common Pleas Judge Frank Forchione handed down the sentence: “You will be spending the rest of your life in prison.”

Judge Forchione addressed Nelson in the court room with a statement.

“I’ve heard throughout this trial that Mr. Nelson loved Rebecca Rogers. He only loved one person: himself,” the judge said. “If he loved her, he would have never, in cold blood, went to that restaurant and shot her dead three times. He took away her life because he was some scorned lover.”

Rebecca Rogers

According to trial testimony, the 55-year-old East Canton man, Nelson, learned that Rogers was seeing someone else. When he learned of the new relationship, phone records show that Nelson attempted to call Rogers 310 times in a 24-hour span.

Before he learned his fate, Nelson spoke inside the courtroom.

“There is nothing I can do to bring her back, but I would like the court to understand that I am very sorry and remorseful,” Nelson said during sentencing. “I would love if the family would forgive me for this.”

On the morning that the victim was gunned down on April 16th, Rogers’ new lover, Carl Andrews, answered her phone after 99 missed phone calls and told Nelson that she had move on.

Video from the Bob Evans restaurant showed Nelson pull into the parking lot around 9:30 a.m., exit his vehicle and walk inside the carryout door. He located Rogers and shot her three times. She was transported to the hospital when she was pronounced dead.

The search for the shooter lasted nearly 10 hours. Piece by piece, Canton Police were able to get closer in finding the suspect. He was located an open field in East Canton, where a K-9 unit help apprehend him.

In recorded phone calls to both his son and ex-wife, Nelson admitted to killing Rogers.