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Jimmy Rodgers murder trial Day 4: The search for impartial jurors continues

Posted at 6:45 AM, Oct 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-04 20:41:45-04

UPDATE (6:00 PM) -- Nineteen potential jurors were interviewed Thursday during the second phase of questioning. The judge excused five of those potential jurors from jury duty for various reasons.

One potential juror said she could not sit in a jury where the death penalty could be the sentence. She said to her the death penalty is the same as killing.

So far, 29 potential jurors from the Thursday and Friday pools have passed to the third phase of questioning. They were asked to return on Tuesday at 1:30 pm. Twenty-five, more jurors, still need to be questioned for the second phase, they will be in court Monday and Tuesday.

UPDATE (10:45AM) -- One potential juror says he comes from a country that does not have capital punishment, which makes it difficult for him to sit in the jury, but he believes he could still follow the law. "In my belief in the lord, I believe that human life is of the highest level on earth. To save their soul we must consider every piece of mitigation." The court still kept him.

UPDATE (9:15AM) -- Day 4's proceedings are under way, and it began with the defense reporting that one of their expert witnesses recently got brutally attacked, and cannot return to work until next week. However, it is not expected to cause any delays in the trial.

Friday's first potential juror immediately began crying while being questioned, and was dismissed. The second potential juror said he doesn't believe in playing the hand of God, but also believes in the law, so he could still go with the death penalty after much consideration.
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jury selection for the Jimmy Rodgers murder trial will continue Friday morning, and it'll keep going into next week.

The judge says this case is really unique, and it is a death penalty case, which means the jurors must be selected with care because of the demands they'll have to deal with.

19 potential jurors will return Friday to be questioned even more. Then on Monday, 10 will come back, and 15 more on Tuesday.

This case is particularly difficult because if jurors find Jimmy Rodgers guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, they have to be able to decide whether to sentence him to death.

Understandably, this is hard for some people, and a few potential jurors have had to be excused by the judge. “I will note for the record, you are very visibly upset. And my apologies, because like I told you, you all come to the table with your own life experiences, and some of us there are certain cases we are not cut out to be on,” said Judge Bruce Kyle.

According to Psychology Today, being on a jury can be an emotional experience, and even more so because jurors have to stay impartial and not let their emotions get to them.

In a study, doctors found that people on juries can suffer from sleeplessness, tension headaches, and even some times PTSD symptoms. Often times these symptoms don't end when the trial ends either.

Jimmy Rodgers is accused in the 2015 murder of Teresa Sievers in Bonita Springs. Prosecuters say Teresa's husband Mark hired Rodgers and Curtis Wright to drive to Florida to kill her.

We'll have a crew in court all day Friday and updates will be posted here.

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