Text after 7 killed in Morgan County said ‘everything has been dealt with,’ affidavit says

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MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. – Two men facing capital murder charges in Morgan County were part of a club and wanted to ‘wipe the slate clean’ after members disobeyed, according to arrest warrants for the two.

John Michael Legg, 20 of Danville, and Frederic “Rick” Allen Rogers, 23, were arrested in Oregon Sunday. The two are wanted for the killings of seven people at a home in Morgan County June 4.

Three of the victims – Jeremy Roberts, James Benford, and Roger Jones Jr. – were members of a club for the “Seven Deadly Sins,” according to the affidavit.

In an interview Wednesday, Morgan County Sheriff PIO, Michael Swafford said the investigation into the club is ongoing. He says there were 6 members of Seven Deadly Sins and it does not appear to be part of any larger group.

WHNT News 19 reached out to other agencies in North Alabama that have backgrounds in investigating gang activity. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms say they have never heard of “The Deven Deadly Sins.” Besides the religious connotations, the group shares the name with a popular anime series.

“Early on we understood it to be tied to some type of anime cartoon type show, but as far as what it really means and was meant to be, we’re not sure yet,” said Swafford.

WHNT News 19 asked what club members did together.

“I think they had some type of plan of things they wanted to accomplish together and as part of doing that you know, you give yourselves a name. Now what all those things were continue to be seen,” Swafford said.

Morgan County Sheriff Ron Puckett said in a news conference that the club had been in the process of dismantling.

Legg and Rogers were upset the night of the murders about disobedience they perceived toward the club, the witness stated; Legg also was upset over the theft of some firearms. Authorities said the witness told them the two said something to the effect of “We’re going in there by force and wipe the slate clean.”

The court documents do not explain what the percieved disobedience could be.

The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call of shots fired about 11:30 p.m. June 4 and found the bodies of Roberts, Benford, Jones, William Zane Hodgin, Emily Brook Payne, Tammy England Muzzey and a 17-year-old girl. All had been shot and their cell phones were missing. A dog also was killed.

About two hours later, authorities said the witness received text messages from Rogers that said “everything has been dealt with” and “if anyone asks you we’re going on vacation.” Rogers also asked the witness to take care of his cat.

Authorities tracked Legg’s cell phone and determined he cut it off about an hour and a half before the murders. It was turned on briefly the next day in Kansas, they said.

Authorities said they determined Legg and Rogers were headed to Salem, Ore., where one of them had family. Authorities in Marion County, Ore., spotted them in a Dodge Charger with Alabama plates and took them into custody without incident.

One of the suspects in a Morgan County murder is taken into custody by Marion County, Ore., authorities. (Photo provided by Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

Sheriff Puckett says both Legg and Rogers did not have a criminal record prior to this incident. How two young people with no criminal record are charged with something like this, is a question that continues to puzzle the community.

“I think as the DA processes the case and begins to piece together what we have learned and have continued to learn, hopefully that becomes clear because I know a lot of people at home want to know how do you go from almost high school age to being able to commit a crime like this,” Swafford said. “But anytime you get mixed up in things it can lead to other things and potentially that’s what happened here.”

There’s no word yet on when Legg and Rogers will be brought back to Alabama. Authorities said they have waived extradition.

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