Man who burglarized Chief's home graduates drug court

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) --- In July 2011, City of Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen's home was burglarized by then 23-year-old Brian Thomas Rogers.

"I had no idea what situation I was walking in to," said Rogers, as he recalled the incident. "I was very much in my addiction and it didn't matter who, what, where, when. It was just very selfish."

Rogers was charged with second-degree{}burglary and petit larceny. But instead of jail time, Chief Mullen says he and his wife allowed Rogers to enter into a state rehabilitation program called Drug Court.

"I've actually gotten correspondence from him thanking me and my wife for agreeing to him going into this program, and also to let us know that he's learned a lot," said Chief Mullen.

The program treats mental illness, drug addiction and requires participants to get a job, take drug tests and attend weekly meetings.

"Just very grateful that he allowed me into this program because I really do believe it put me in the hands of the people who gave me the structure to save my life," said Rogers.

Wednesday, Rogers was one of two graduates from the program.

Malcolm Clark also attended and completed drug court.

"I been to jail four times," said Clark. "I've been in SCDC, in prison, and I was tired of going [and] wanted to make a change in life."

Mullen says 75 percent of the people who go through drug court, stay out of prison for two years or more.

"Not only for the perspective of reducing crime in the community, but you also want them to have a complete revision of their lifestyle, the way they feel, the way they think, the beliefs that they have, the values that they carry," Mullen said.

In a tearful speech during the commencement ceremony, Brian Rogers' dad, Brian Rogers, Sr. thanked the drug court staff.

"I know for my son, you saved him. And, no one can ever convince me of anything else. He's alive today because of this court. So, thank you," Rogers, Sr. said.{}

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