Saying they wanted a “clear and contemporary thoughts” jurors deciding the destiny of one in all three males accused within the 2015 slaying of Bonita Springs physician Teresa Sievers broke for the evening.
After seven days of testimony and a full day of closing arguments, jurors will proceed deliberations on the Lee County Justice Heart in Fort Myers at eight:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Deliberations started about 10:15 a.m. Tuesday after the defendant Jimmy Ray Rodgers, 29, declined to testify and the protection rested its case on Monday. The jurors returned early afternoon to request that the testimony of Rodgers’ girlfriend be learn again to them earlier than returning to deliberations.
Rodgers is accused within the June 2015 bludgeoning dying of Teresa Sievers, 46. Additionally accused are the sufferer’s husband Mark Sievers, 51, and Curtis Wayne Wright Jr., 51.
Closing arguments within the Rodgers trial acquired underway after Lee Circuit Decide Bruce Kyle denied a second movement for a judgment of acquittal from the protection on Monday.
Assistant State Lawyer Cynthia Ross started the state’s closing arguments, portray an image of a conspiracy between Mark Sievers, Wright and Rodgers that ended with Teresa Sievers’ dying.
Ross instructed the jury they needed to discover Rodgers responsible as a result of proof and eyewitnesses positioned him in Southwest Florida. Testimony introduced through the trial made it a risk that he took half in her homicide, she mentioned.
Ross used photographs on a big display to indicate Rodgers’ presence in Southwest Florida, together with footage of him procuring at a Fort Myers Walmart, as proof of his guilt.
“Why had been Curtis Wayne Wright and Jimmy Ray Rodgers in Florida,” Ross requested. “They had been right here to homicide Teresa Sievers.”
The state proved premeditation and conspiracy and urged jurors to vote with their conscience, Ross mentioned.
“Do not depart your frequent sense behind,” Ross instructed the jurors. “The state proved Jimmy Ray Rodgers responsible. Discover him responsible.”
Rodgers met fellow co-defendant Wright whereas they had been incarcerated on the Sainte Genevieve County Jail in Missouri in 2010.
Wright and Mark Sievers grew up collectively in Missouri and had been childhood associates.
Throughout his testimony on Oct. 17, Wright admitted to his half within the slaying in trade for a 25-year jail sentence as a part of a plea deal.
The identical day authorities introduced the settlement, they arrested Mark Sievers. The settlement requires that Wright present substantial help to the prosecution.
Wright already pleaded responsible to a second-degree homicide cost, however his sentencing is contingent upon him telling the reality in court docket.
Mark Sievers first approached Wright with the concept of getting his spouse killed at Wright’s Missouri marriage ceremony in Might 2015, Wright mentioned throughout his testimony.
Rodgers turned concerned as a result of Wright requested for assist and did not need to kill the girl by himself, Wright mentioned.
The Sievers had been having marriage issues and Mark was in worry of dropping his two daughters in a custody battle together with his spouse, Wright testified.
Behind all of it was a life insurance coverage coverage Mark Sievers had taken out on his spouse, Wright testified.
Mark Sievers instructed Wright he would pay $100,000 or extra to have his spouse killed and the plan was to share a few of that cash with Rodgers, Wright mentioned on the witness stand.
Assistant Public Defender Donald McFarlane introduced Wright as the only real particular person accountable for Teresa Sievers’ homicide and mentioned Wright is an evil, mendacity man making an attempt to pin the blame on others.
“I haven’t got a flowery multimedia presentation,” McFarlane mentioned throughout closing arguments on Monday. “I will depend on logic.”
The state’s proof was incomplete and didn’t present that Rodgers presence in Florida was related to the killing of Teresa Sievers, McFarlane mentioned.
Rodgers and Wright didn’t cover the truth that they had been coming to Florida, he mentioned.
“It makes completely no sense that he instructed folks he was going to Florida if he was going to kill Teresa Sievers,” McFarlane mentioned.
Taylor Shomaker, Rodgers’ ex-girlfriend, additionally testified for the state through the trial.
After Rodgers returned dwelling to Missouri from a visit to Florida, he instructed Shomaker to throw items of a damaged cellphone and a blue jumpsuit out of a automotive window whereas they had been driving, Shomaker testified.
Shomaker mentioned she initiated a dialog with Rodgers concerning the dying of Teresa Sievers whereas in mattress and instructed him she knew he had one thing to do with it.
“He agreed with me,” Shomaker mentioned whereas on the witness stand.
Rodgers instructed her he killed Teresa Sievers with a hammer, she mentioned. She additionally mentioned Rodgers nickname for himself was “Jimmy the hammer.”
Whereas arguing in favor of a judgment for acquittal movement, Assistant Public Defender Jay Brizel mentioned Shomaker’s testimony was not reliable as a result of she has been paid by the Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace as a part of a witness program and may very well be eligible for $50,000 reward within the case.
Rodgers’ trial started Oct. 1.
The primary witness to testify within the Rodgers trial was Teresa Sievers’ older sister Ann Lisa.
“She was my sister and the love of my life,” Ann Lisa mentioned from the witness stand.
Teresa Sievers was discovered useless, face down on the kitchen flooring of her household’s dwelling at Jarvis Highway on June 29, 2015. Investigators discovered a hammer subsequent to her physique.
Rodgers and Mark Sievers are charged with first-degree homicide and face the dying penalty if convicted. A separate trial for Mark Sievers is predicted to start after Rodgers’ concludes.
Sievers and Rodgers additionally face a conspiracy to commit homicide cost. Rodgers faces an extra cost of first-degree housebreaking whereas armed.