Rebecca Hogue Now: Was She Found Guilty or Innocent?

Image Credit: KOCO 5 News/YouTube

A tired Rebecca Hogue went home to rest on January 1, 2020, after a long shift during New Year’s Eve. But just hours later, she realized that her two-year-old son, Jeremiah “Ryder” Johnson was dead. To make things worse, it seemed like her boyfriend, Christopher Trent, was responsible and was nowhere to be seen. The second episode of the third season of A&E Network’s ‘Accused: Guilty or Innocent?’ titled ‘Failed My Child or Innocent Mother?’ delves into why Rebecca was charged with her son’s murder. So, let’s find out what happened then, shall we?

Was Rebecca Hogue Found Guilty or Innocent?

Then about 28 years old, Rebecca returned to her home in Norman, Oklahoma, around 4 AM on January 1, 2020, after working as a cocktail waitress. Her son, Ryder, seemed to be sleeping in his crib; she had left Christopher to care for him while she was at work. Rebecca went to sleep but woke up just a few hours later to make a horrific discovery: Ryder wasn’t breathing, and Christopher had left.

Image Credit: KTUL News

Rebecca immediately called 911, and the authorities found that Ryder was bruised and injured in the face and head. The kid also had injuries on his back. A hole in the master bedroom seemed to contain Ryder’s hair inside. The investigators believed that Christopher abused and killed the boy while Rebecca was at work. So, they set out on a hunt for him. But that ended on January 4, 2020, when Christopher’s body was found at the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma.

Rebecca’s boyfriend killed himself by hanging from a tree, with “Rebecca is Innocent” being found carved into a tree nearby. But soon after that, Rebecca was charged with Ryder’s murder under the “failure to protect” law. The prosecution believed that she already knew or should have known that Christopher was abusing her son. Rebecca, who was cooperative with the police, said that Christopher didn’t seem like the abusive kind.

However, in the days leading up to Ryder’s death, Rebecca noticed injuries on him, but Christopher always seemed to have an explanation. She said during a police interview, “I’m really mad at myself. I believed him when [Trent] said he must’ve fallen or had the flu.” On the other hand, the prosecution stated that Rebecca searched on her phone for signs of abuse in a child.

The judge, in this case, didn’t allow the carving to be presented as evidence, deeming it hearsay. The jury also didn’t hear a detective who didn’t believe Rebecca had done anything wrong. Furthermore, testimony from a domestic violence expert on Rebecca’s behalf wasn’t allowed. In November 2020, a jury found her guilty of first-degree murder and recommended a life sentence with the possibility of parole.

Where is Rebecca Hogue Today?

At Rebecca’s sentencing in February 2022, the defense argued for no jail time, pushing for mental health treatment instead. A report from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections also presented a similar proposal after reviewing the case. Rebecca asked for leniency, adding, “Ryder was my entire existence; without my child, my world have [has] been torn apart. I would have done anything to prevent the abuse that happened. I do not want to die in a jail cell.”

The judge ultimately sentenced her to 16 months behind bars, signifying the number of years Rebecca would have been legally responsible for Ryder. The judge added that she wasn’t a monster and said putting her in jail for years was not a proportional punishment. Prison records indicate that Rebecca remains incarcerated at Dr. Eddie Warrior Correctional Center in Taft, Oklahoma. She received credit for time served, effectively making her sentence 13 months.

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