Murder, suicide claims couple as three children wait in home

Friday, July 12, 2002

SCOTT CITY, Mo. -- A domestic squabble that ended with a murder and suicide at a mobile home park made orphans of three children who were inside their sparsely furnished mobile home when it happened.

Scott Rodgers, 33, shot Penny Rodgers, 33, in the head with a shotgun on the front porch of her mobile home in the 2800 block of Woodland Drive in the Woodland trailer court, police said. Scott Rodgers then walked several feet away in the yard and shot himself in the head, said Scott County Coroner Scott Amick.

The shootings occurred at 11:07 p.m., police said. The children -- a 15-year-old son and two daughters, ages 11 and 13 -- were home at the time. The children are staying with relatives.

"It's really a tragedy," said police chief Danny Clubb.

Neighbors, relatives and police said the couple had been having marriage problems.

Relatives said she had kicked him out of the house a few weeks ago. A carpenter by trade, Scott Rodgers had been living in Olive Branch, Ill.

On July 8, two days before the shooting, she obtained an ex parte order against her husband, police said. The order, issued in Scott County Circuit Court, barred Scott Rodgers from visiting his wife.

Only a week earlier, on June 29, police had arrested him for trespassing after Rodgers had confronted his wife's friend in the trailer court. He also was charged with assaulting a police officer and was held briefly in the city jail.

Neighbors and relatives said he had threatened to kill his wife when confronted by police on June 29.

Scott and Penny Rodgers had been married for 15 years, but the marriage was often rocky. They had been separated three or four times, said Penny Rodgers' sister, Rhonda, of Jackson, Mo. She refused to tell her last name.

Neighbors and relatives said Scott Rodgers drank heavily.

Penny Rodgers had had enough, they say. "She was set on getting a divorce," her sister said as she stood in the trailer park on Thursday and tried to wipe away the tears.

Amick said ex parte orders can't keep people safe from harm. "It's a shame you can't appoint someone to guard them," the coroner said.

335-6611, extension 123

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