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Woman accused of being ‘possessed by a reptile’ on trial for killing her boyfriend

Site where the killing of Stephen Mineo took place in July 2017. Barbara Rogers is on trial for the shooting, which prosecutors have linked to cult. WNEP Video screenshot
Site where the killing of Stephen Mineo took place in July 2017. Barbara Rogers is on trial for the shooting, which prosecutors have linked to cult. WNEP Video screenshot

Aliens have come into play in a Pennsylvania woman’s murder trial for allegedly shooting and killing her boyfriend in 2017, reports TV station WGNO.

Suspect Barbara Rogers and her deceased lover, Stephen Mineo, were both members of “an online cult centered on aliens and the end of the world,” according to WNEP.

Her defense, reported the station, is that “the cult turned against” the couple, and Mineo became so distraught at being ostracized that he put a gun in her hands and manipulated her into shooting him in their Tobyhanna area home. The shooting occurred in July 2017, according to WNEP.

However, detectives told WBRE in 2017 that “Rogers gave conflicting stories but ultimately admitted to killing Mineo.”

Cult leader Sherry Shriner said the group tried to warn Mineo that Rogers “was dangerous and he was just blinded by her,” WBRE reported in 2017.

“Cult members were convinced Rogers was a witch or a reptile who wanted to kill Mineo,” the station reported.

The Associated Press reported in 2017 the “reptilian” cult believed, at least in part, “that a group of alien reptiles is subverting the human race through mind control.” Shriner, the cult’s leader, suspected Rogers had been “possessed by a reptile,” making her susceptible to becoming a “Vampire Witch Reptilian Super Soldier,” reported N.J.com in 2017.

Rogers’ defense claimed in opening statements Tuesday that “the shooting was an accident” and happened after Mineo “put the gun to his own head and told her to pull the trigger,” reported WGNO. She believed it was unloaded, according to the station.

The Pocono Record reported Rogers, 42, called 911 about 20 minutes after the shooting, and police found 32-year-old Mineo “had been shot at close range in the forehead with a .45-caliber handgun.”

Prosecutors have disputed Rogers’ claim that the killing was an accident and say she “could have prevented it,” reported Fox8.

Rogers turned down a plea deal to a lesser charge of third-degree murder, which carried a maximum of 15 years in prison, the station reports.

Although the insanity defense is mentioned a lot in pop culture, it is rarely used and more rarely successful.

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