A Lennox man convicted of murdering a former bridal reality show contestant by beating her with a hammer has been sentenced to prison, officials said Monday.
Jackie Jerome Rogers, 36, received the maximum possible sentence of 26 years to life, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.
Jurors found Rogers guilty last September of first-degree murder in the slaying of 36-year-old Lisa Marie Naegle. A special circumstance allegation that he used a hammer during the killing was also "found true," a news release from the DA's office stated.
Rogers struck Naegle with the hammer eight times as the pair sat in his car on Dec. 18, 2016, according to prosecutors.
He then took her to the backyard of his home in the 5000 block of West 106th Street, hitting her twice more with the hammer to make sure she was dead, authorities said. After, he buried her body in a shallow grave.
Rogers tried to cover up the murder by wiping the victim's blood and tissue from the weapon and his car, and disposing of all of her belongings, according to the release.
But the case apparently began to unravel after he was questioned by the victim's family members, who reported her disappearance to police.
Naegle, a registered nurse who once appeared as a contestant on E! Television's "Bridalplasty," was reported missing after she vanished following a birthday party at the Alpine Village restaurant in an unincorporated area of Torrance, Los Angeles Police Department officials said at the time.
After leaving, she called her husband to let him know she was going to stop for food before going home. She never returned.
The next morning, Naegle also failed to show up to a nursing class she was supposed to teach at West Los Angeles College in Culver City, further raising suspicions that something had happened to her.
Rogers was a student at the college and studied under Naegle, who taught part-time. Prosecutors said the two were involved in a romantic relationship.
Naegle's relatives contacted Rogers and pressed him for details about the disappearance of their loved one. He initially told them he attended the party before changing his story when they continued to pepper him with questions.
Family members then called police.
Rogers later confessed to burying the body, authorities said. The missing woman's remains were uncovered by police two days after the murder.