‘I didn’t mean to hurt them.’ Roger Self emotional in court while pleading guilty in deadly crash

North Carolina

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE)- A former Gaston County youth pastor charged in the death of his own family members told a judge through his tears on Monday that he never meant to hurt anyone.

Back in 2018, Roger Self rammed his car into a restaurant, killing two family members. Self pleaded guilty in an emotional afternoon in court.

Self broke down in court Monday as prosecutors detailed how two and a half years ago he intentionally plowed into a restaurant killing his own family member.

“I didn’t mean to hurt them,” Self said in court.

Self’s daughter and daughter-in-law were killed, and his wife and son were seriously injured when prosecutors said he drove his car on purpose into the Surf and Turf restaurant in Bessemer City in May of 2018.

“It’s some closure and it’s been a very difficult almost three years, but our family’s strong and our faith in God is very strong, and we’ll continue just to walk forward,” Monty Self said, Roger Self’s brother.

Self’s family members were seated inside having Sunday lunch after they had all gone to church together.

He pleaded guilty Monday using the Alford plea, which means he doesn’t admit guilt but recognizes that the evidence against him is so great that it would result in a guilty verdict at trial.

“Ultimately, it’s my client’s decision what they choose to do, that is the answer, he chose to resolve his case this way for his own personal reasons,” Rick Beam said, Roger Self’s attorney.

Self told his family as he left the courtroom, calling some of them by name, he said “I love you” and “you’re my hero.”

He will be sentenced on April 12, 2021. He’s facing life in prison without parole.

Self’s attorney said at the time of the tragedy, he was suffering from mental health issues and he’ll go deeper into that at his sentencing in April.

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