A teenager dubbed “Rochester’s youngest journalist” for his online coverage of crime scenes, sought a break from prosecutors as he faced his own criminal charges for stealing an unmarked police car.
Geoffery Rogers, 17, appeared in Rochester City Court on Tuesday where prosecutors referenced negotiations for a possible plea deal.
“What they told us is they would ask for us to adjourn for a local offer, which gives the impression that they’re not really looking to try and hang up this kid with a felony,” said Rogers’ new lawyer, former Rochester City Court Judge Leticia Astacio. “They are looking into some non-criminal disposition.”
Monroe County Senior Assistant District Attorney Daniel Strollo told News10NBC that the district attorney’s office was still “reviewing the case” and a plea deal was not imminent.
Rogers faced a felony charge of grand larceny, as well as unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, menacing and false reporting of an incident for an episode in August.
According to court documents, Rogers and a 13-year-old relative got into the city’s auto depot on Mt. Read Boulevard around midnight on Aug. 23 and took off in a Honda Accord used by police. Police say he later threatened a man with a BB gun.
Security video from the Exxon at the corner of Portland and Clifford avenues in Rochester shows Rogers pulling into the station at about 4 a.m. In the video, Rogers is seen going to the counter and then getting into a confrontation with a man, who follows him to the car.
“This is a child,” Astacio said. “Children do childlike things, unfortunately. I’m really optimistic. I have a lot of faith in Mr. Strollo. I have a lot of faith in the district attorney’s office doing the right thing in this instance, because they can.”
Rogers was already known around Rochester for his “Geoffery Show Live” internet news reports. He reported frequently from local crime scenes, which turned him into a partner and friend of law enforcement.
After his arrest, Rochester police expressed disappointment and said they hoped he could turn himself around. Astacio said she hoped so too.
“You can put anything behind you and move on and reinvent yourself and start your whole life over,” she said. “I think that’s true for absolutely every person in the world. And this little boy is 17.”
Rogers is scheduled to return to court on Oct. 8. Astacio said she hopes a plea bargain will be ready by then.