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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sirens & Gavels

Pet lover’s killer, ex-boyfriend gets 20 years

A Stevens County man who killed his girlfriend after she broke up with him will spend the next 20 years in prison.

Preston Lee Rogers, 43, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced on July 14, one year after Cheryl Lynn Hayward's family reported her missing. (Rogers and Hayward are pictured left with Hayward's father.)

Authorities believe Rogers stabbed Hayward, 28, to death that day as the two argued, then crashed her care and was in a hospital before telling a Stevens County sheriff's detective where Hayward's body was a week later.

The two had been dating since Hayward was 14. 

Rogers underwent tests at Eastern State Hospital before being found competent to stand trial.

"He expressed profound remorse" at his sentencing, according to Stevens County Prosecutor Tim Rasmussen.

Hayward is remembered as a pet lover who was looking for a fresh start in a story you can read here.

In a story you can read here, Rogers told deputies he just "snapped," according to court papers.

Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.