Jimmy Rodgers trial: Defense makes two requests for mistrial, both denied: Day 4

We could be seeing the groundwork laid for an appeals process in the Jimmy Rodgers trial for the murder of Dr. Teresa Sievers, if a conviction is made.

The defense asked for a mistrial not once but twice Tuesday. Both times they argued prejudice against their client Jimmy Rodgers. Both times, those mistrial requests were denied.

He is accused of bludgeoning Dr. Teresa Sievers to death in her Bonita Springs home.

The day started with testimony from two FBI witnesses. Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives sent 40 samples of crime scene evidence to the FBI and for DNA forensic testing.

A significant part of the day was – both before and after lunch – focused on testimony from LCSO Lt. David Lebid, who testified he traveled to Illinois and Missouri in July 2015.

That’s where he met Curtis Wayne Wright and Jimmy Rodgers. Both eventually named as suspects in the murder of Teresa Sievers.

It was a jailhouse interview with Rodgers, retold on the stand by the lieutenant that Rodgers’ attorneys tried to get thrown out.

“I said you saw what I was charged, it’s a second-degree homicide,” Lt. Lebid said. “He said in the state of Missouri, that’s 15-20 years and I’m okay with that.”

The defense motion for a mistrial and argued telling the jury the conversation happened in jail was prejudicial to their client. Rogers was in jail on a separate probation violation.

Wright’s former friend also took the stand on Tuesday. Jerry Lubinski loaned Wright a GPS. Detectives said it shows he and Rodgers drove from Missouri to Florida around the same time Teresa Sievers was murdered.

But then, Wright had a strange request. He wanted to keep Lubinski’s Garmin. “Wayne has like a short term memory and he wanted to keep everything on there,” Lubinski said. “So he asked if I could buy a new one and I said yes.”

Watch live video and updates from the courtroom below.

WARNING: This livestream may include graphic content that may be disturbing to some viewers. 

NOTE: During a court recess, you will see a state of Florida seal.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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