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Updates: Jury selection begins in the murder trial for Mark Sievers

Posted: 6:49 AM, Nov 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-12 21:55:14-05

UPDATE (2 PM) -- 21 potential jurors have been released for cause. One juror with a medical condition said the temperature in the courtroom is too cold and could cause him to become ill.

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UPDATE (9 AM) -- The State begins by saying they have some witness issues regarding one of the days of testimonies, but besides that, they are ready to go. Defense says they are ready. Jury selection will begin once Judge Kyle gets through the other cases.

Jury selection will begin with potential jurors being asked if they can sit through a lengthy trial. The Rodgers trial took roughly 4 weeks, Mark Sievers trial is expected to last longer.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. – The jury selection process is getting under way Tuesday in the trial of Mark Sievers.

Investigators say he hired Jimmy Rodgers and Curtis Wright to kill his wife, Dr. Teresa Sievers, for life insurance money, totaling nearly $4.5 million.

Jury selection will likely be even tougher and longer than it was in the trial of his alleged accomplice, Jimmy Rodgers, who has already been convicted in this murder .

Curtis Wright has accepted a plea deal in the case in exchange for cooperation with prosecutors.

This case has gotten extensive media coverage, especially because of Rodgers’ trial last month. And it took 4 days to seat a jury in that case.

So what's expected for jury selection? We asked attorney Mike Chionopolous.

He says the judge goes first, then the prosecution, then the defense. Each gets to strike six potential jurors for any reason at all, but get unlimited strikes "for cause" -- or credible reasons -- like bias, for example.

He imagines this will be the major focus for Tuesday, especially for the defense, as they try to weed out any people who've followed the coverage.

Stick with Fox 4 for extensive coverage of this trial, including live streams from the courtroom once the trial gets under way.

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