Trial for Jimmy Rodgers in the death of Dr. Teresa Sievers set to begin

We have been in court every day of the jury selection process ahead a of a murder trial in Lee County. A jury has been selected, and we are looking at the individuals tasked with determining the fate of an accused killer of a mother of two children.

The high-profile murder trial for Jimmy Rodgers is set to begin Thursday in Lee County court. Rodgers is accused of going to the Bonita Springs home of Dr. Teresa Sievers and beating her to death with a hammer in 2015.

Twelve jurors and two alternate jurors will spend the next five weeks learning the details of what happened that day, four years ago.

Defense Attorney Peter Dennis said the final list of jurors is typical for a lengthy case like this.

“It’s probably the jury that most people would have expected, skewing more toward people who don’t work outside the home, and toward people who are retired,” Dennis said.

The jury includes eight women, ranging in age from their 20s to their 80s, at least two are stay-at-home moms and several are retired. One of the jurors have been a victim of a crime, and another has sat on a criminal jury in the past.

“It certainly doesn’t appear to be a diverse jury,” Dennis said.

Of the six male jurors, most appear to be in their 50s and 60s. At least three jurors are retired. One of them is a business owner.

Dennis said most of the jurors seem to be neutral, but a few of them did stand out to him.

One male juror said in questioning he believes in the death penalty because there is “true evil other there.” And his wife works for a nonprofit centered around helping girls.

“Is probably more favorable to the prosecution than to the defense,” Dennis said.

Another juror, a retired man, brought up serial killer Ted Bundy as an example of someone suitable for the death penalty.

Dennis said this juror could also lean toward the prosecution.

“Because of his remarks on the death penalty and having brought up a serial killer,” Dennis said.

One juror who was leaning more toward the defense was a woman who said she would grab the bailiff if she felt pressured into making a decision, which is important because. The decisions have to be unanimous.

Opening statements are set to start Thursday. Dennis said it’s a crucial part of the trial because it allows both sides to put their point of views in the jurors’ minds before any evidence is presented.

The trial will be live streamed on the WINK News app beginning with opening statements.

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Reporter:Morgan Rynor
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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