Jimmy Rodgers trial: Jury selection underway: Day 1

Tuesday begins the long-awaited trial in the Dr. Teresa Sievers murder case.

Dr. Sievers, 46 was a holistic doctor who was beaten to death with a hammer in her home after returning from vacation.

Her husband, Mark Sievers, is accused of orchestrating her murder with the help of Jimmy Rodgers, who is suspected of carrying it out.

Judge Bruce Kyle and both the defense and prosecution are looking to filter out anyone who’s already heard about the case – a difficult task.

And after learning the first-degree murder trial of Rodgers could last five weeks, about 20 people were sent home. Some of them had planned vacations, others said it would be financially difficult for them to take off work.


NOTE: The above livestream will be paused during recesses. Check back for continuing coverage throughout the trial. Click HERE if you don’t see a video player above. 

Live streaming is temporarily paused during a portion of jury selection to protect the names of jurors.


 

DAY 1 UPDATES

4:30 p.m.

Judge Bruce Kyle has seen 98 potential jurors.

As of right now, 23 people have been asked to come back Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.

The judge is speaking individually with jurors who said they’ve heard about the case or the defendants.

2:20 p.m.

After dismissing about 20 jurors already, the judge is now reading the charges the potential jurors. Looking to filter out people who have heard of the case or the defendant.

13 out of 30 potential jurors raised their hand when asked if they’d heard of Mark Sievers, Jimmy Rodgers, Teresa Sievers, or the case.

People who have heard about the case moved to one room, people who have not heard about the case moved to another.

Judge now asking individual jurors what they know about the Sievers trial.

Another juror just released because he says he has friends who knew Theresa Sievers.

At 2:20 p.m. 29 jurors remain in the juror pool.

12:00 p.m.

The court is in recess for lunch.

11:10 a.m.

Jury selection is underway with Judge Bruce Kyle presiding over the trial which is expected to last five weeks.

There are 98 potential jurors in the building now, the judge is bringing them up starting with a pool of 50 people.

Live streaming is temporarily paused during a portion of jury selection to protect the names of jurors.

They are starting with questions for jurors about potential financial hardships.

Jimmy Rodgers and Mark Sievers wait in the courtroom as their attorneys discuss the start date for Mark Siever’s trial.

10:02  a.m.

Jimmy Rodgers is back in the courtroom.

Kathleen Fitzgeorge, Rodgers’ attorney, did not go for a plea deal.

Defense says the discovery was in the State’s possession for four years without being disclosed. They say part of the discovery was provided just last week.

Jimmy Rodgers says he does not need more time to negotiate with his attorneys. There has been one offer and he rejects the offer.

There will be a 50 person jury pool.

Judge Kyle says we are starting with Jimmy Rodgers’ case first.

A recess is then called.

9:05 a.m.

Mark Sievers enters the courtroom as the state is ready to begin the trial, with the exception of a discovery issue they raised via motion.

Both defense attorneys have asked not to start the trial today. The judge has denied that motion for continuance.

The judge says if there is a plea deal to offer Rodgers, now would be the time.

8:57 a.m.

As trial gets underway, WINK News reporter Brooke Shafer is inside the courtroom with updates as the trial moves forward on day 1.

The State says they are ready to begin trial and have turned over evidence.

The defense estimates about 75% of evidence they requested has not been provided, and they still have not received a complete copy of the case file, bench notes, electronic data, photos and images taken, list of commercial software used in testing, and copy of data files used.

The defense says there has been no plea offer.

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*Original*

Just hours before the jury selection begins this morning, there is confusion in the court on who will start the trial first.

Both men and their lawyers are scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m., but after being granted separate trials it is unclear who will be in court first.

Dr. Teresa Sievers. (Credit: WINK News)
Dr. Teresa Sievers. (Credit: WINK News)

MORE: Judge approves separate trial for Jimmy Rodgers in Teresa Sievers murder case

Mark Sievers and Jimmy Rodgers’ trials in Lee County are four years in the making.

Sievers is accused of being involved in the planning and execution in the 2015 murder of his wife, Doctor Teresa Sievers, who was found bludgeoned to death with a hammer in their Bonita Springs home.

MORE: Mark Sievers loses parental rights; Wayne Wright testifies

In the weeks after her death, detectives arrested Rodgers and Wayne Wright, Seivers’ childhood best friend.

Wright later took a plea deal in exchange for testimony against Seivers.

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Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Brooke Shafer
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