Flagstaff, AZ – William Rogers was found unresponsive early Thursday morning in his cell at the Coconino County Detention Center. He was pronounced dead a short time later by the county medical examiner, who also determined the cause of death was from asphyxiation, or suffication by a plastic bag. Charlie Wong is a lieutenant at the detention facility. Wong said Rogers, who had been held at the jail since December 7, was not considered a suicide risk.
(:14) There were no indicators prior to his passing. There was no unusual behavior, no erratic behavior - no requests through medical staff for psychological or religious counseling.
Rogers was being held by the US Marshal's Service, pending extradition to Washington State, where he was to face federal charges in connection with an arson at the US Department of Agriculture Building in Olympia. At a court hearing last week, an FBI investigator told the court Rogers could also be linked to four other arsons, including a wild horse corral in Oregon and a ski resort in Vail, Colorado. Still, US Marshall's Service spokeswoman Brenda McLaughlin says Rogers' death is a disappointment.
(:15)In my opinion, it's kind of sad, because these were charges that weren't going to last with him for the rest of his life - and is something he could have gotten over. He could have done some time and went on with his life, and it's sad that no one knew how depressed he was - and we couldn't have prevented it.
Rogers, who lived in Prescott, was one of six people arrested in a sweep of suspects believed to be linked to the Animal Liberation Front and Earth Liberation Front. A search of his home reportedly turned up bomb-making components similar to those used in the earlier arsons. Rogers's supporters countered that he was a peace-loving man who preached nonviolence. For Arizona Public Radio, I'm Mitch Teich in Flagstaff.