Jimmy Rodgers Trial: Wright gives chilling, graphic details on the stand of Teresa’s murder: Day 6
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The Jimmy Rodgers trial began for the sixth day Thursday with Lee County Sheriff’s Office Analyst Myra Simmons called to the stand. She does investigative research for detectives and things like analyzing call records.
Simmons said she was asked if burner phones or prepaid phones were used by Rodgers and Curtis Wayne Wright.
She said she began her investigation in January or February of 2016. She requested a tower dump for the Jarvis Road area, where the Sievers’ home is, and for one near Wright’s home on Chapel Hill Court in Missouri.
Simmons explained she was looking for certain area codes, of which she then used a program to analyze and map call details. She eventually found a number with a Georgia area code (404) connected to a burner phone that pinged close to Wright’s home as well as Jarvis Road.
Later, Simmons said she analyzed data from Wright’s personal cell phone. “I noticed that the personal phone of Mr. Wright and the 404 burner phone pinged off the tower at almost the same time,” she said.
Another number she found, with a California area code (858), was found to have incoming and outgoing messages to the 404 phone.
The first time the California number pinged off a tower was in SWFL, in Naples off Immokalee Road near a Walmart.
Simmons also analyzed Mark Sievers’ personal cell phone and compared those records to those from the 858 number.
“I observed That Mr. Sievers personal cell and the prepaid, burner phone both laid their heads on the same tower within minutes of each other,” said Simmons.
She said Sievers’ personal phone pinged at the Walmart just a few minutes before the 858 burner phone.
The state asked her if there was a download of Sievers’ phone at LCSO, to which she replied “yes.”
“I did an analytical search,” said Simmons. “I put in the times and I noticed that Mr. Sievers phone pinged, I think, at his residence and I showed that Mr. Wright’s phone pinged up in Missouri at the Chapel Hill residence around the same time…I saw the two burner phones, the 404 and the 858, pinging in the same area.”
Simmons also analyzed Rodgers’ personal cell phone records, creating a few charts showing where the phone pinged on June 28.
The report shows the cell phone pings follow the trip from Missouri to SWFL, then it ends at the Jarvis Road address.
However, Simmons also noted that if you are driving around, your cell phone is going to pick up the best signal, not necessarily the closest tower. The defense asked, “So AT&T is saying be very careful using this data because it may be inaccurate?” She replied, “Of course.”
The next witness called to the stand was Winston Chambers, Track Phone Wireless manager for the Subpoena Compliance Department. His job is to get subpoenas, search warrants and oversee the group that processes those requests.
Track Phone Wireless had records of where the 858 burner phone was purchased. Chambers says it was purchased at a Walmart on Juliet Boulevard in Naples. Although he does admit, there is no indication that Rodgers is associated with any of the burner phones.
The next witness called is LCSO Analyst Suzanne Buchhofer. She reinforces the information presented earlier by Simmons.
When she was cross-examined by the defense, she noted there was a gap between tower pings from the burner phone in Tennessee. She said it’s not clear if that would be because the phone was turned off or because there weren’t any towers.
The court broke for lunch around 11:30 a.m. and are expected to resume at 1:15 p.m.
The first witness called after lunch was none other than Curtis Wayne Wright, a major witness in the case. He took a plea deal for his involvement in the murder: 25 years in exchange for his testimony.
— Brooke Shafer (@BrookeWINKNews) October 17, 2019
Right out of the gate, the state asked Wright, “Who killed Dr. Teresa Sievers?” He replied, “I did, and Mr. Rodgers.”
Wright admits on the stand he initially lied to law enforcement when questioned about the murder of Teresa Sievers. Why? “To protect myself and my co-defendants, Jimmy Rodgers and Mark Sievers,” he said.
Wright then went into detail about how he and Mark Sievers met. He said they met in high school and that their girlfriends were friends. Before Wright was arrested, he said he and Sievers were “good friends” and that the two had “been through a lot together.”
Sievers was even Wright’s best man at his wedding. Wright said while the two were getting ready, Sievers told him Teresa was leaving him and taking their two daughters. Wright said he suggested fighting for custody for the children in court or going to counseling.
He said Sievers then asked him to help him kill his wife. He said he was shocked by the question, but said he’d see what he could do.
After a couple of weeks, Wright said he decided he wanted to help Sievers kill Teresa. That’s when he went to talk with his friend, Jimmy Rodgers.
Wright said Seivers told him he had a lot of life insurance on Teresa, and offered him $100,000 or more to have it taken care of.
That next morning, Wright said Sievers admitted Teresa was leaving him and taking the kids “for another doctor she met at a conference.”
At this point Wright said he was “all in” and purchased a burner phone, but said he didn’t actually want to commit the murder himself.
Wright said the plan was always for the murder to happen in SWFL, either at the Sievers’ house or work. As far as when, Wright said, “He just told me ASAP.”
When deciding how to get to SWFL, Wright said he and Rodgers decided to drive instead of fly, since there would be too much of a paper trail if they flew. He said it was Seivers’ idea to murder Teresa after she returned from a weekend away.
He said he and Rodgers arrived in Florida, killed Teresa and left the same night.
Wright corroborates the state’s earlier witness, Wright’s friend Jerry in Missouri, who let him borrow the GPS they used to drive to Florida.
Wright says it took him and Rodgers about 20 hours to drive straight to SWFL. When they arrived at the Sievers’ home, Wright says “everything was exactly as [Mark] told me it would be.”
As the trail shifted away from the plans to the time of the actual murder, Wright’s testimony turned much more gruesome.
He said when they first got to to SWFL, they went to the Sievers’ home to get a layout of the house.
Before the murder, Wright said he and Rodgers “went to the beach, walked around a little bit and took a nap.”
“We had the whole day to spend,” he said. “My thought was the best way to spend it was in a crowd.” So, he says, they spent the day driving around the Bonita Springs/Fort Myers Beach area.
Wright said after that, they went to Walmart, where he says they bought shoes, wet wipes, a couple of towels and some other clothing. He said he rang it out and Sievers paid for it.
Around 10:30 p.m., Wright said he and Rodgers returned to the Sievers home. That’s where, he said, they put on the blue jumpsuits over their clothes, then put on rubber latex gloves and used duct tape to tape them to the sleeves.
“Mark had told me to make it look like she came home and walked in on an active burglary,” said Wright. “While we were waiting for her to come home I pryed that side door open.”
However, Teresa came home early, he said, so he dove down behind some boxes to make sure her car headlights didn’t spot him.
At this point, Wright says there was still no clear plan as to how they were going to kill Teresa.
He said they were armed with hammers and he followed Teresa into the home.
“What I would have liked to seen happen was to make it look like an accident. Something that wasn’t real violent,” he said. “I never in a million years envisioned beating her to death with a hammer.”
He said he’d originally planned to choke her and knock her out, but he accidentally kicked over a dog dish, which made a loud noise and cause Teresa to turn towards him, exposing him.
So he said he hit her with the hammer a few times, expecting to knock her out, but she didn’t seem to react at all.
Wright said as he was hitting her, Teresa looked up at him and asked, “Why?”
Then, Wright says Rodgers appeared and starting hitting her over and over, describing it as a “frenzy.”
Wright said she was still on her feet, even after multiple blows from both of them. “She put her hands up to fight back and defend herself,” he said.
Wright said she still held herself up as Rodgers continued to hit her in the back of the head.
She eventually stumbled and fell to the floor, but Rodgers continued to hit her, Wright said. He said he stopped hitting her and eventually tried to get Rodgers to stop.
“I asked him to stop a couple of times,” he said. “I said that’s enough, stop.” But Wright said he continued. “I physically walked over to the area where he was at and asked him to stop and put my hand on him.”
At this point, Wright said it would have been impossible to make it look like an accident. He said they killed her in the kitchen and didn’t move her body.
Wright said he dropped his hammer on the floor, but wasn’t sure what Rodgers did with his. He said after they were sure she was dead, they left right away.
“We stopped at a rest stop on the way back and cleaned out the car, the suits, I threw my stuff away,” he said.
Wright said he thought Rodgers threw his jumpsuit away, but never saw him do it. They drove home mostly nonstop except to get gas and some food.
Wright said they stopped at a RaceTrac in the middle of the night. They couldn’t get gas there, so they used the Garmin to find another station.
Wright says he left his regular phone at home so it wouldn’t be picked up here and the tower would show it was in that location. He brought the prepaid phone to Florida. He told Rogers not to bring his phone but he says he didn’t listen.
The state asked Wright, “Did you ever get paid your $100,000?” “No,” said Wright.
Wright always believed Mark would pay him.
The jury was dismissed for the evening shortly before 6 p.m. The defense will cross-examine Wright as the trial resumes Friday morning.
The State says they have two more witnesses to call after Wright. One of them is the medical examiner.
DR. TERESA SIEVERS’ LAST WORDS — WHY?
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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.
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