Suspect in Sievers murder will serve 6 months in federal prison

ST. LOUIS- One of two Missouri men charged with killing a southwest Florida doctor will serve six months in federal prison for a probation violation in an unrelated gun case.

A federal judge in St. Louis ruled Wednesday that 25-year-old Jimmy Ray Rodgers broke the terms of his 2011 guilty plea to unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon.

Rodgers’ attorney said in federal court Wednesday, her client did admit to going out of the State of Missouri, when he wasn’t allowed to. But she says he wouldn’t say where.

Deputies say he was in Florida,  spotted at a Fort Myers Wal-Mart the day before Dr. Teresa Sievers’ death.

Rodgers was charged last week with second-degree murder in Sievers’ death, a 46-year-old holistic physician whose body was found in her Bonita Springs home in late June.

Rodgers told his attorney Wednesday, he didn’t know “those people in Florida,” referring to Mark and Teresa Sievers.

Deputies have not said whether Rodgers and Teresa’s husband Mark knew each other. But Rodgers’ neighbor in Missouri says she’s seen Mark Sievers at Rodgers’ trailer before.

Teresa Sievers’ pastor and good friend Judith Lee of Good Shepherd Ministries says, “when I saw the young man’s picture on TV, Jimmy Rodgers, I really had a sickness in my stomach imagining what Teresa went through. I think what I am seeking, and what we are all seeking, is the knowledge about what happened, who was really involved, what was their roles.”

Another person facing murder charges is Wayne Wright. Pastor Lee says she met him at Teresa’s funeral, just days after Siever’s death.

Rodgers and Wright knew each other, and Teresa’s sister says Wright was Mark Sievers’ childhood best friend. He too remains in custody in Missouri.

Rodgers violated his probation by being out of state, resulting in a six month federal prison sentence, starting today.

Rodgers’ attorney says he will have to complete those six months, before deputies can bring him to Southwest Florida.

A local attorney says the six month sentence could be a good thing. Once Rodgers is in Florida, he could request the right to a speedy trial, meaning his case has to go to trial in 180 days.

The federal sentence allows law enforcement and prosecutors to continue to build their case, while Rodgers is safely behind bars.

Author: Sam Smink/ AP