Man sentenced to 6 years in prison for killing man who confronted him about trespassing

A Compton man who attacked a Long Beach resident for confronting him about trespassing pleaded no contest Monday to voluntary manslaughter and was immediately sentenced to six years in prison.

Cleveland Monte Rogers, 48, beat 67-year-old Lewis Haller Jr. when he confronted the defendant about trespassing on his property the night of Feb. 5, 2019, according to authorities.

Officers were dispatched about 9 p.m. to the 800 block of Alamitos Avenue, near Hellman Street, when Haller called to report he had been battered by another man, who at some point kicked him in the face, according to court documents.

When officers arrived at Haller’s home that night, he told them he didn’t want to press charges and didn’t want to be taken to the hospital, police said.

The next day, however, Haller went to the hospital after getting ill and throwing up, according to a search warrant filed at Long Beach Superior Court.

Haller appeared to be suffering from a brain bleed, something that can be caused by a blow to the head, an officer wrote in the warrant.

Rogers, who police said had “various outstanding warrants” in addition to the one for Haller’s beating, was arrested weeks later by members of the U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Task Force in Signal Hill.

The sentence was the result of a plea deal with prosecutors.

Police didn’t say how they identified Rogers as a suspect. The two men didn’t have any prior relationship, an LBPD spokeswoman said in 2019.

Breaking News Editor Jeremiah Dobruck contributed to this report.

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