WATCH: Mother of murder victim looking for answers 5 years later

Crime
October 02 2021 06:00 pm

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The mother of a murder victim is still seeking answers five years after her son was killed.

In 2016, Roger Cheatham was killed in a shooting at a residence on 31st Ave North in Birmingham. A witness told investigators that Cheatham and his neighbor were inside the home when three masked men forced their way in and held them at gunpoint while searching the home. Eventually, Cheatham and his neighbor were shot. Cheatham died while the neighbor survived.

Five months after the shooting, Cheatham’s father, who shares the same name as his son, spoke with CBS 42 about the trauma his son’s death had caused the family, revealing that the victim’s children were in the house when the shooting took place.

Birmingham Police Detective Joylyn Craig told CBS 42 in January 2017 that Cheatham’s teenage son was originally asleep when the three men entered the home.

“He woke up to commotion, saw dad kind of tussling with the guy, and next thing you know, it was shots fired,” Craig explained.

During the interview, Craig said police believe the three suspects left the scene in a purple Nissan Altima. In August 2018, the family issued a $5,000 reward for more information leading to an arrest in Cheatham’s case.

Five years later, though, family and police are still looking for answers.

Cheatham’s mother, Angela Cheatham, spoke with CBS 42 yesterday, on the five-year anniversary of her son’s death.

“I’m still just pleading, begging for someone to please come, just say something,” she said. “I still need justice, and I’m begging for the community. Please come out and say something.”

Cheatham said that an unwillingness to “snitch” in the community is partly the reason for the lack of arrests in her son’s murder case.

“I think people are afraid to come and talk,” she said.

Roger “Rod” Cheatham was Angela’s only son, she said, and she’ll never forget him.

“I don’t understand why this happened,” she told CBS 42. “He was a really good person.”

Rod Cheatham was 31 at the time of his death.

“He was always at home with his kids. He always worked and kept a job. He was a fun-loving person,” she said. “He was quiet — he kept to himself. That’s why I don’t understand why somebody would just do this to him. It’s been really hard. His children need him, his sister needs him. I need him.”

Angela Cheatham also discussed the murder’s impact on two of Rod’s children who witnessed the shooting of their father.

“One was eight at the time,” she said. “Now he’s afraid. He’s scared of people. He don’t like nobody to be around him. He’s just really afraid somebody is going to hurt him.”

Another of Rod’s children that witnessed the crime is now 18.

“He still has nightmares. It’s really been hard for them,” she said of the two children who found their father dead.

If you have any information on Cheatham’s death, call 205-862-2535. Angela Cheatham said there is a $5,000 reward available from the governor’s office and up to a $5,000 reward from CrimeStoppers.

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