Jimmy Rodgers trial: Closing arguments completed: Day 8

Judge Bruce Kyle gave the jury the decision to continue deliberations Monday night after hearing from the state and defense teams in the Sievers murder trial. The jury decided to go home and will begin deliberations 9 a.m. tomorrow.

During the course of Day 8 court proceedings, sequestration was something on the table if the jury is unable to reach a verdict. But it’s believed the defense for Jimmy Rodgers, who is accused of bludgeoning Dr. Teresa Sievers to death in 2015, has withdrawn its motion to sequester the jury.

A jury verdict is possible in court tomorrow.

Shortly after the trial against Rodgers continued Monday, the defense rested its case and called no witnesses. Rodgers did not take the stand.

In the course of the trial, we’ve heard from many witnesses, including Rodgers’ ex-girlfriend, who said he confessed to the killing, and Curtis Wayne Wright, who admitted to being an accomplice to the murder, after agreeing to a plea deal.

The State rested its case on Friday, and the defense had the opportunity to call witnesses Monday; however, after only minutes of court resuming, the defense rested its case, choosing to call no witnesses.

Judge Kyle said he plans to send the jury home today after closing arguments.

Here’s the game plan: closing statements today, send jurors home, have them come back tomorrow morning for jury instructions.

If the jury does not have a verdict by tomorrow, they faced the potential to be sequestered. But it’s believed the defense has withdrawn its motion to sequester the jury.

The State’s closing arguments lasted for about one hour and they had a chance for rebuttal after the defense’s closing.

In closing, the State went back through the evidence for the jurors (crime scene photos including the hammer, the coveralls they say Jimmy Rodgers was wearing, surveillance pics/videos, and gloves they say Rodgers brought).

The State Attorney’s Office says perhaps the most important piece of evidence investigators gathered from Missouri was the statement from Jimmy Rodgers’ ex-girlfriend, Taylor Shomaker.

During the state’s rebuttal, prosecutors focused on evidence and lies told by Jimmy Rodgers, who initially told people he was going to Florida for a graduation. “There was no graduation, he was going to Florida to commit a murder,” the state prosecutor said.

The state also said, even without Curtis Wayne Wright’s testimony, there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Jimmy Rodgers is guilty.

Family for Teresa Sievers, Jimmy Rodgers, and Mark Sievers were all in the courtroom as they have been throughout the trial.

Teresa’s family sat in the second row as the state walked jurors back through evidence like surveillance videos, the coveralls investigators say Rodgers was wearing, and a collage of crime scene photos.

And in the middle, the hammer investigators say was used to kill Teresa was again shown.

The defense says surveillance video shows Curtis Wayne Wright wearing different clothes suggesting he had to change after killing Dr. Sievers. Rodgers’ attorney says Rodgers was wearing the same thing in both videos.

The defense also said there is no physical evidence Rodgers ever went inside the Sievers’ home. And defense attorneys also attacked the credibility of Taylor Shomaker, Rodgers ex-girlfriend.

To wrap up the defense’s closing arguments the attorney said, “Jimmy Ray Rodgers helped a friend who had problems falling asleep, and he drove. And because of that got caught up in another man’s madness and here he sits.”

The defense for Rodgers looking to pin the entire crime on their client’s co-defendant Curtis Wayne Wright.

WATCH RECORDED VIDEOS FROM THE COURTROOM

WARNING: This video may include graphic content that may be disturbing to some viewers.  NOTE: During a court recess, you will see a state of Florida seal.

DAY 8, PART 1

DAY 8, PART 2

DAY 8, PART 3

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Justin Kase
Writer:WINK News
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