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Key witness could testify in Rodgers murder trial Thursday

Posted at 6:50 AM, Oct 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-17 06:50:01-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Thursday could be a big day in the Jimmy Rodgers murder trial, as a key witness will likely testify.

Investigators say back in 2015 Rodgers killed Dr. Teresa Sievers inside her Bonita Springs home. They say Teresa's husband Mark hired Rodgers and another man, his friend, Curtis Wright, to kill his wife.

Now the state may call Curtis Wright to the stand to testify against Rodgers on Thursday.

He has to testify as part of a plea deal he took. He also pleaded guilty to murder.

Another key witness in this case is Jimmy Rodgers’s former girlfriend, Taylor Shomaker. She spent hours on the witness stand Wednesday, taking questions from both the state and the defense.

She has significantly helped strengthen the state's case against both Rodgers and Wright.

She says she witnessed Rodgers trying to destroy evidence. She also testified Rodgers confessed killing Dr. Sievers, saying he said he killed her with a hammer.

There were some inconsistencies with Shomaker's testimony, however. The defense asked several questions that she either didn't know or couldn't remember the answers to.

We asked a law professor at FGCU what this could mean for the case. "She spoke a lot about what had happened that day, and many times saying ‘I don't remember.’ This is one of the most important moments in her entire life. The father of her child is being accused of murder, and all of these things were happening. If that were one of us, wouldn't we have recalled these important details? I think for the jury, this will be one of the questions they have in the back of their minds. Are they able to set that aside?" says Pam Seay.

She added that Shomaker's statement saying Rodgers told her he killed Teresa with a hammer is damning and brought silence to the courtroom.

So she says the jurors may give Shomaker the benefit of the doubt. They may look at this and think of how traumatic those months may have been for her and understand the inconsistencies.

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