Father & son keep suspected killer from escaping

YAKIMA, Wash. -- A convicted felon is now accused of murder. Police said 21-year-old Gage Rogers beat a man to death Monday night in a basement.

A deadly brawl sent Yakima police to the basement of a Cherry Avenue home. But before they arrived, a father and son kept Rogers from escaping.

"I went down there and found the man out cold on the floor," said the man only wanted to be identified as "Max." He was still too shaken to appear on camera.

Police said he threw himself into a murder in progress happening at his own home.

"I pulled the guy off of him and held him until police got here," Max said.

Detectives said Gage Rogers killed 45-year-old Eric Taylor.

The arrest affidavit indicates Rogers beat and stomped Taylor so severely that Taylor had boot marks on his body. Witnesses said he kept going after Taylor was unconscious.

Investigators said the men knew each other from prison and were drinking early in the day.

"There may be a history of when they drink too much they fight," said Yakima Police Capt. Rod Light.

Action News dug deeper and learned Rogers was a convicted felon out of Ferry County where he pleaded guilty last year to several charges including assault by strangulation.

It doesn't look like Rogers was placed in Yakima by the Department of Corrections, police said. Instead, the victim's family recently helped him come here.

"I've only known him for a week. He moved in, was going to help me with some of the bills and this happens," said a neighbor.

The murder in his basement is hard for Max to process.

"He seemed like a nice guy," Max said.

Now, this felon is back in jail facing more serious charges. A judge set bail at $1 million.

The Department of Corrections indicates Rogers served less than a year for his previous conviction.

Taylor's autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday.