A Hamburg man who was facing attempted murder charge for allegedly attempting to kill a teenager during a brawl at the Gingerbread Castle pleaded guilty on Monday to a reduced charge of aggravated assault.
Steven Rogers, 21, admitted to using a 4-inch pocket knife to stab a 14-year-old during a brawl at the now-closed theme park in December 2020, leaving the teenager with head injuries , upper chest, armpits and hand. He required 37 stitches and eight staples and suffered nerve damage, prosecutors said.
The teenager’s injuries could have killed him, according to police documents. The courts accepted the boy’s name because he is a minor.
Prosecutors will seek an eight-year prison sentence under a state law requiring those convicted of violent crimes to serve 85% of their sentence before being eligible for parole. Rogers will serve three years of parole after his release from prison. Elizabeth Smith, Rogers’ lawyer, said she would seek a lesser sentence.
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Rogers’ girlfriend and soon-to-be-mother Amanda Fullman, 20, was the catalyst for the fight, with police citing an apparent “love triangle” among the trio.
Fullman and Rogers were indicted in a joint indictment in May. In addition to attempted murder, Rogers was charged with endangering an injured victim, illegal possession of a weapon, and possession of a weapon for an illegal purpose. These charges will be dismissed at sentencing.
Fullman was with Rogers when she contacted the teenager on December 3, 2020 and told him to meet her at the castle so that she could return a pair of headphones, according to police documents.
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While it’s not clear what Fullman’s intentions were on the day of the stabbing, she faces charges of endangering a child’s well-being for knowingly reuniting the teenager and Rogers, says the indictment. She also faces a charge of breaking a restraining order the teenager had placed against her.
The teenager went to police two months before the incident to report that he had had sex with Fullman for a year, according to police documents.
Fullman also faces sexual assault charges and two counts of endangering a child’s well-being. She was released from prison days after her arrest and is expected to return to court on Wednesday. Rogers’ sentence is set for September 16.
Fullman was once employed by the Gingerbread Castle as part of the art team that restored the iconic building, which served as the centerpiece of an amusement park that closed in 1978.
Lori Comstock can be reached on Twitter: @LoriComstockNJH, on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LoriComstockNJH or by phone: 973-383-1194.