Suspect in dumped-body murder near Truckee defers plea | SierraSun.com

Suspect in dumped-body murder near Truckee defers plea

Liz Kellar
lkellar@theunion.com

NEVADA COUNTY, Calif. — The Reno man charged in the homicide of a woman whose body was found dumped off Interstate 80 near Truckee on April 4 was in court Thursday, but did not enter a plea.

Maurice Di Aundra Rogers was arrested less than a week after Felicia Romaine Spruell-Jones, 46, of Reno, was found in the road under the Interstate 80 overpass at Farad Road.

Spruell-Jones’ cause of death has been ruled to be gunshot wounds. Detectives believe she was killed the morning she was found, but were still determining whether she was shot where she was found or dumped there.

Rogers was eventually identified and located and detained in South Sacramento on April 8, and was booked on a murder charge and is being held without bail.

“The Rogers case is still a very active investigation, with investigators from both the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit and the DA’s Office conducting further interviews and evaluating the evidence gathered in the case thus far,” Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bob Jakobs said Thursday. “The Sheriff’s Office can confirm that a firearm was, in fact, recovered during the course of the investigation. That firearm is being sent to the DOJ’s Bureau of Forensic Services for forensic testing to determine its potential involvement in this case.”

Rogers was initially arraigned in Truckee and was appointed a public defender. His arraignment and an evidentiary bail hearing had been set for Thursday in Truckee, but the hearing was transferred to Nevada City that morning.

Deputy Public Defender Tamara Zuromskis asked to defer entry of plea and the bail motion, adding that Rogers might be seeking a private attorney. Deputy District Attorney Anna Tyner noted the homicide charge is not a capital case, so Rogers does have a right to bail.

He is set to return to court at 1 p.m. May 12.