Chicago-(ENEWSPF)- A man charged with the murder of a high school classmate in 1977 pleaded guilty today and was sentenced to 22 years in prison, according to the office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Fred Rogers, 51, formerly of Flossmoor, was charged with the murder of Ken Hellstrom, in 2007 as the result of a cold case investigation initiated by the Homewood Police Department and Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office Cold Case Unit. Both were students at Homewood- Flossmoor High School.
According prosecutors, on January 19, 1977, Rogers, 16, stabbed 17- year-old Hellstrom multiple times as he walked home from work in Homewood. After being stabbed, Hellstrom was able to make it to his house, where he collapsed at the back door. He was taken to a local hospital where he later died.
According to prosecutors, for years police considered Rogers a suspect in the murder, but Rogers fled the state after the murder and the case remained active but unsolved. In 2006 investigators re-examined aspects of the case, again identifying Rogers as a person of interest. In 2007, Rogers confessed to authorities that he stabbed and killed Hellstrom after being arrested for a traffic stop.
Today Cook County Judge Michele Simmons sentenced Rogers to the 22-year prison sentence during a court hearing.
State’s Attorney Alvarez thanked Assistant State’s Attorneys, Ethan Holland and Matthew Thrun of the Cold Case Unit for their handling of the case. Alvarez also thanked the Homewood Police Department for their assistance.