Teresa Sievers’ convicted killer Jimmy Rodgers claims innocence, plans to file for new trial

Published: June 29, 2022 6:23 PM EDT
Updated: June 29, 2022 6:29 PM EDT

In a WINK News exclusive, for the first time, one of the three convicted killers in the death of Dr. Teresa Sievers is speaking out.

Mark Sievers, Teresa’s husband, is on death row, convicted of hiring two people to do it.

Curtis Wayne Wright, Mark’s childhood friend, took a plea to testify and got 25 years for his involvement.

Jimmy Rodgers, Wright’s friend, got a life sentence for second-degree murder following a jury trial.

Dr. Teresa Sievers (Photo by Charlie McDonald Photography)

Rodgers never testified at his trial but he reached out to WINK News to tell his side of the story.

He is hoping for a new trial.

At trial, his defense claimed there was no proof Rodgers was even at the Sieverses house since investigators didn’t find any DNA evidence.

But in an interview with WINK News, Rodgers said he was there and that’s about the only part of his story that matches what the jury heard.

“There’s no conspiracy, we never hid where it was at,” Rodgers said.

Seven years after the murder of Teresa Sievers, Rodgers now calls into question the testimony of his one-time friend Wright.

“She came home unexpectedly,” Wright testified to a jury back in 2019.

Curtis Wayne Wright takes the stand (WINK News)

Wright told the jury he and Rodgers were hired by Mark Sievers to kill his wife Dr. Teresa Sievers and promised a big payday.

Wright testified she surprised them, getting home earlier than expected and that both he and Rodgers swung the hammer that killed her.

But, Rodgers said, no.

“We parked in the driveway and waited there in the driveway for her to show up for at least a half-hour,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said the two had been hired to do work for the Sievers family and had been invited to stay but Wright got the dates wrong.

“The door opens before she ever made it into the drive. Then she pulls into there, me and Wayne (Wright), we’re already outside the vehicle, got our backpacks ready to spend the night; we walk into the garage,” Rodgers said.

“She seemed to already be in a bad mood,” Rodgers said. “She gets out of the vehicle like ‘what are you doing here?’ Like, immediately with an attitude, Wayne (Wright) tells her how he forgot that they were going out of town and that he messed up the times. She’s angry, frustrated, yelling at him.”

Rodgers said: “She’s talking with her hand. She’s yelling at him. She’s cussing at him. She’s telling him how he’s incompetent … While they’re in the middle of their argument, yelling at each other. They’re standing right there. She just unpacked all of this stuff out in the garage, just closed the garage door. I’m standing on one side of the van over here, Wayne (Wright) is standing at the front of the van facing her and they’re closer together than you and I right now. I mean they’re literally arm reach apart from each other. Standing right there at the deep freeze where all our stuff is. Wayne (Wright) picks up the hammer off the deep freeze and strikes her in the face with it.”

Jimmy Rodgers, 32, speaks to WINK News from South Bay Correctional Facility, south of Lake Okeechobee. Rodgers is one of three convicted killers in the death of Dr. Teresa Sievers. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“She runs down the hallway into the kitchen, he chases after. I come chasing after Wayne (Wright). I’m telling Wayne (Wright) to stop, stop. He’s grabbing her by the hair. They tussle around there inside the kitchen. And then, give me a sec, so then they, after they are tussling around in the kitchen, he gets her down to where she’s on her hands and knees right down next to by the refrigerator and he continuously strikes her in the head.”

Rodgers claims it was Wright and Wright alone who killed Dr. Sievers.

“He then points the hammer at me, and as he points the hammer at me, I put my hands up and I tell him like I didn’t see (expletive). That was my exact words like I didn’t see (expletive),” he said.

Rodgers said that what the jury heard at trial was wrong.

Rodgers makes dozens of claims now about inconsistent stories and evidence.

And he said two witnesses whose testimony convicted him, Wright and his former girlfriend Taylor Shomaker, both lied.

“I asked him if he killed her and he said yeah. I asked him if he shot her with a gun and he said no. I asked him how and he said with a hammer,” Shomaker testified during the trial in 2019.

Rodgers believes detectives fed potential witnesses answers.

WINK News asked former police officer FGCU criminal justice professor David Thomas to watch Wright’s and Shomaker’s videotaped interrogations and he didn’t see any problem.

“What I thought was very interesting is a tactic that I probably would never have used but where the detectives actually had the facts. He told him what the facts were. He let him lie through the process,” Thomas said, adding, “you’re not feeding him, you’re allowing him to hang himself.”

Rodgers sent WINK News pages of written and typed notes showing what he claims are inconsistencies in testimony and trial evidence.

“You don’t get a second bite at the apple,” said Pam Seay, a lawyer who also teaches criminal justice at FGCU.

She said at this point, after trial and a failed appeal, there’s not much question.

Seay said the time to bring all of this has passed. The only option left is a motion for a new trial, but that requires new evidence.

“New evidence means something that was not in existence at the time of the trial. All of the things that Mr. Rodgers is saying now would have been in existence at the time of the trial,” Seay said.

One of the biggest things working against Rodgers is that “he did not report it,” Seay said.

“If that is his argument, so he is just as guilty,” Thomas said.

But Rodgers said Wright threatened to kill him as well more than once that night.

“And that’s where I see Wayne’s (Wright) taken off his bloody clothes. And he’s putting them in his backpack. And then he’s putting on his clean clothes because we pack clothes for this trip to stay in Florida. And then we got inside the car and Wayne’s (Wright) threatening me at that point inside the car told me how he’s gonna kill me, how he’s gonna kill Taylor (Shomaker) and how he’s gonna kill Taylor’s children if I go to the cops,” Rodgers said.

Mark Sievers and the late Dr. Teresa Sievers

Rodgers said he is going to file a motion for a new trial based on ineffective counsel at trial

WINK News reached out to all of the lawyers involved.

Rodgers’ trial lawyer had no comment.

WINK News could not reach Taylor Shomaker.

Mark Sievers has filed for a new trial, which again, requires new evidence.

Rodgers said his story could be the new evidence.

Mark Sievers’ attorney said her client maintains his innocence and will continue to fight to clear his name.