Vale — An Ontario woman was sentenced Monday to 75 months in prison for second-degree manslaughter in the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Mark Rogers.
Ketra Savannah Siuce-Hale, 23, was originally charged with first-degree manslaughter after killing Rogers, 26, Ontario, outside an Ontario residence on Jan. 28, stabbing him in the neck with a butterfly knife.
Seventy-five months is the minimum sentence in Oregon for this charge. Hale will never qualify for an early release but will receive credit for time already served in a plea deal she accepted last month.
At her sentencing Monday, Hale tearfully spoke directly to Rogers’ parents, occasionally glancing at a prepared written statement.
“I would like to say how extremely, extremely sorry I am,” Hale said. “I loved your son very much.”
Hale explained her version of the circumstances from that night at the residence of Tiffany Rothchild. Hale said that Rothchild was very upset she was there, broke her windshield, threatened her with a child’s metal scooter and punched her in the head.
“I shouldn’t have done it, but I pulled out a knife and swung it at her and didn’t know Mark got between us,” Hale said. “I’m ready to take full responsibility for this. I hope that one day you find it in your heart to forgive me.”
According to Malheur County Deputy District Attorney Erin Landis, Hale and Rogers were a couple living together, and on the night he was killed, Rogers had left Hale to visit Rothchild, with whom he had a child.
Hale repeatedly called and texted Rogers with no response before rounding up three friends to go with her to confront Rogers either about $200 he may have taken from Hale or to bring him home, Landis said. One of the friends Hale gathered included Daniel Wilson, 30, Ontario, who a few days after Rogers’ death led police in a vehicle pursuit until he crashed his vehicle north of Ontario. Wilson already had two warrants out of Malheur County and was charged with attempting to elude.
When Hale arrived at the home, a confrontation between Rothchild and Hale was nearly immediate, Landis said.
“The victim told the defendant to leave,” Landis said. After Hale’s windshield was broken by Rothchild, Landis said, Hale did pull out of the driveway but stopped in the street and was followed by both Rogers and Rothchild.
“There’s some evidence that the defendant was being blocked by the victim to get to Rothchild and accidentally stabbed him,” Landis said, based on witness interviews.
According to Hale’s defense attorney Virginia Bond, Hale claims that Rogers eventually called her and asked to be picked up because there was a lot of drinking and possibly drugs at the residence and the two were trying to remain sober. Bond said Rothchild attacked Hale, who pulled out a knife for protection and accidentally stabbed Rogers in the jugular and panicked.
After Rogers was stabbed in the neck, Hale fled the scene in her vehicle with Wilson and at least two others, Landis said. Hale was found on Feb. 2, hiding in the bathroom of a home near Weiser during a warrant search for another individual.
Before the sentencing, Malheur County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Sullivan spoke briefly about Rogers’ death.
“This whole thing is senseless and pointless,” Sullivan said. “None of this needed to happen.”
Landis echoed Sullivan’s statement during a brief interview with the Argus Observer.
“This was definitely a tragic situation,” Landis said. “A person’s life was lost that night and what is clear from this case is a Miss Hale did cause the death of Mr. Rogers and she will be spending the next 75 months in prison for it. What Judge Sullivan said in court accurately and concisely summarizes what happened that evening.”