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Fort Worth police make arrests in unrelated capital murder cases

FORT WORTH -- Police arrested four suspects Wednesday in two unrelated capital murder cases in which two teenagers were gunned down during apparent break-ins in their southwest Fort Worth homes.

One victim was Eric Jon Forrester, a 17-year-old honors student at Southwest High School, who died Tuesday from a gunshot wound to his head.

The other was Daniel Garner, an 18-year-old graduate of Everman High School, who died Feb. 19 after being shot in his chest and stomach.

The two young men lived less than a mile apart, but police said the two cases are not connected.

Bruce Terrell Rogers, 24, was arrested Wednesday by the police fugitive unit in connection with the slaying of Forrester. On Monday, Forrester and his sister arrived home to have lunch, apparently surprising burglars. His sister fled, but Forrester was shot and gravely injured. He died the next day at John Peter Smith Hospital.

"This was a senseless crime where a young man's life was lost," said Sgt. Chad Mahaffey, a police spokesman. "Our homicide unit worked diligently, and we have one man in custody. There is still a lot of work to be done."

Bail was set at $1 million for Rogers, who had recently been released from jail on a theft charge, court records showed.

Before the theft charge, Rogers served a five-year prison sentence on two counts of injury to a child, according to court records. Rogers pleaded guilty to lacing a bottle of orange juice with insecticide. He had intended for his parents to drink the orange juice because they had disciplined him.

However, Rogers' 14-year-old brother and his 8-year-old nephew drank the juice. They got sick and had to be taken to a hospital. Rogers was initially offered a 15-year sentence but accepted a five-year plea deal.

At the time, Rogers' attorney, Andrew Platt, said Rogers was remorseful and "genuinely grateful" to the prosecutor for offering the five-year term.

Police are searching for another suspect in the Forrester slaying and are looking for three laptop computers -- a Dell, a Toshiba and a Hewlett-Packard -- that may have been stolen from Forrester's residence in the 6400 block of Poco Court.

“We still need information from anyone who purchased a laptop computer from anyone face-to-face since Monday,” Sgt. Chad Mahaffey said Thursday. “Investigators want people to know it’s okay to come forward, it’s safe, we are simply trying to piece together the suspects movements after the crime was committed on Monday.”

Anyone who bought a laptop computer face-to-face Monday is asked to call the Fort Worth police homicide unit at 817-392-4330 or Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477. Information leading to an arrest will result in a reward.

February shooting

Police arrested three suspects in the Garner slaying. He was found shot several times at his home in Wedgwood.

Relatives said Garner, who graduated in May, was the victim of an apparent burglary. Dominique D. Jones, 19, and Bryan A. Jones, 23, were in the Fort Worth Jail on Wednesday, each facing a capital murder charge, police said. Bail for each man was set at $150,000, police said.

A third suspect, Damian Murkledove, 18, was arrested on a probation violation and was in the Tarrant County Jail on Wednesday. Homicide investigators plan to seek an additional capital murder charge against Murkledove, police said.

Items were missing from Garner's house in the 6900 block of Trail Lake Drive, where he lived with his mother and four foster children, relatives said.

The foster children were with a baby sitter Feb. 19. When she took the children to the house and found it in shambles, she suspected that there had been a burglary and called Garner's mother at work, police said.

When the mother came home about 3 p.m., she found her son's body lying in a back room, police said.

"I've been praying and have not stopped praying," the teen's grandmother, Wanda Garner, said late Wednesday. "He had just started filling out college applications. We had been getting on him because he was taking a break from school. ... I've been praying for his mother, my daughter. She's been going to cemetery every week to lay down flowers. She's so hurt. That was her only child."

MITCH MITCHELL, 817-390-7752

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