Shannon Carlon’s voice trembled as she testified about the loss of her boyfriend at the sentencing for the man who killed him.
“I just wanted to say that on October 16 of last year my family was shown no mercy from this man,” she said, looking at to Matthew Grogg, 24, who plead guilty to second degree murder in the death of Scott Rockey, who was killed at the property shared with Carlon and his young son in Jupiter.
“I don't have a family anymore because of him.”
Grogg was sentenced to 40 years to life in state prison on Monday afternoon in the Tuolumne County Superior Court as a part of a plea deal.
Grogg, dressed in a red prison jumpsuit and wearing glasses covered with tape attached with a band around his head. He kept his back to Carlon and did not react during her statement.
Grogg was arrested on Oct. 23, 2018, about a week after a shooting at a Jupiter property off Italian Bar Road which resulted in 31-year-old Rockey’s death.
At Grogg’s preliminary hearing in March, a Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office detective testified that Grogg told authorities he went to Rockey’s property to check on marijuana plants Rockey’s ex-girlfriend had left there.
Grogg brought a handgun with him, which he said he took off a table at a friend’s Jupiter residence. The handgun was not found by investigators.
The detective had a 43-second audio recording which originated from Grogg’s phone about a scuffle that occurred moments before the shooting.
In it, a voice yells “thief” and a voice believed to be Rockey screams Carlon’s name.
The detective testified he was told by Carlon she and Rockey were watching a movie while his son was asleep in another room. They went outside after hearing Rockey’s dog bark and she saw Rockey fighting with Grogg.
Rockey told her to get his gun and she heard gunshots from inside their trailer before hearing the sound of a motorized vehicle leaving the property.
Rockey sustained gunshot wounds to the head and the clavicle from shots apparently made six to seven feet away. He was found dead by authorities in a marijuana garden.
“You can’t put a price on a life and this guy took a life and left a 3-year-old boy without a father,” said Tuolumne County Assistant District Attorney Eric Hovatter, who prosecuted the case. “I hope it brings the family some closure, but I don't know if you can ever have closure from something like this.”
Grogg did not make a statement. He sat, silent and motionless, for most of the hearing.
Hovatter added Grogg did not provide a statement to the probation department regarding his case.
Carlon lamented that she no longer had contact with Rockey’s young son, who was present with Carlon and his father the night of the shooting.
“I don’t know how to explain how heartbreaking that is,” Carlon said. “There was a family at one time and that family does not exist anymore because of that night.”
Hovatter said the child lives with his grandparents.
Grogg was in the custody of the Tuolumne County Jail for approximately 322 days and earned 68 days of credit for good conduct for a total of 370 days.
His sentence was the result of a 15 years to life sentence for second degree murder and 25 years to life for an enhancement of using a firearm in the commision of the murder.
Tuolumne County Superior Court Judge Frank Dougherty, who took the plea in August, said he previously explained to counsel why the court decided to not waive the gun enhancement, even though they had the discretion to do so.
Dougherty added that additional victim impact statements were supplied to the court in a probation report.
Dougherty set a restitution hearing for Dec. 9.
Grogg’s attorney, Tuolumne County Public Defender Scott Gross, committed to appearing for Grogg at the upcoming restitution hearing when Grogg would not be present.