Defense argues too much beer is to blame for Napa man's bomb plot

Rogers could face up to nine years in prison.
Rogers could face up to nine years in prison. Photo credit Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS RADIO) – Attorneys for a Napa man indicted and charged with plotting to blow up the Democratic headquarters building in Sacramento have been using an unusual argument for his defense.

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Ian Rogers’ attorneys allege that he acted the way he did because of heavy drinking.

Rogers is set to be sentenced next week for his crimes and in the meantime, his defense is arguing that his extremist behavior stems from drinking too much beer – sometimes upwards of a dozen a day.

According to his attorneys, his drinking habit started due to the stress of a divorce, and previously he had no history of criminal behavior.

Ultimately, he didn't take steps to go through with the plan, which his defense is using to argue for a more lenient sentence.

This tactic could be a tough sell to the judge. According to CBS legal analyst, Thane Rosenbaum, the nature of crime brings a higher standard than just clouded judgment.

"It does show you that justice is not consistent sometimes, and there are some crimes that are seen as more extreme," he said. "So you can make those arguments but judges tend to be less empathetic to them."

Another major issue is the huge cache of weapons and explosives found in January 2021 when the former mechanic's home and business were searched by law enforcement.

The stash included five functional pipe bombs, 49 firearms, and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

"Any defense says it was 'bloviating' or small talk," said Eugene O'Donnell a professor with the department of law and police studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. "Is undercut by the fact that he had readily available weapons that could cause enormous damage."

Rogers is facing a recommended sentence of between seven to nine years in prison.

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