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Sievers murder trial Day 2 updates: Jury selection continues

Posted at 6:54 AM, Oct 02, 2019

UPDATE (5PM) -- After questioning Wednesday's second pool of jurors, Judge announces there are now enough potential jurors to continue to the next phase of questions on Thursday.

UPDATE (2PM) -- The judge says there are not enough jury members to pass to the next phase of questioning. They need 60, and so far there are only a total of 48 from the two groups from Tuesday and Wednesday.

They are bringing up 45 more jury members now. The judge is hoping they can begin with the other questions on Thursday.

Tuesday's jurors: 97 were brought in. 32 were asked to return Wednesday, when 2 more were released. The remaining 30 were asked to return Thursday.
Wednesday's jurors: 52 were brought in. Only 18 were asked to return on Thursday.
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UPDATE (11AM) -- Court started around 9 am Wednesday, with the arrival of 52 new potential jurors.

By 11am, 27 of the potential jurors from the morning group have been released.
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Wednesday will be a big day for jury selection in Teresa Sievers' murder trial, in which Jimmy Rodgers will be tried first. He is one of the men Mark Sievers is accused of hiring to kill his wife.

Wednesday morning, both the defense and the prosecutors will get a chance to interview a whole new set of potential jurors, and the people who made it through Tuesday’s questioning will move on to another round Wednesday.

Four years ago, Dr. Teresa Sievers was murdered inside her Bonita Springs home. Investigators say it was a murder-for-hire, so Teresa's husband, Mark, could get her life insurance policy.

The prosecution says Mark Sievers hired his best friend, Curtis Wayne Wright, who already accepted a plea deal -- and his accomplice, Jimmy Rodgers.

So here's where we stand right now in jury selection. There are two different pools of jurors. One includes about 30 jurors who made it through Tuesday's questioning. They are due back Wednesday at 1:30 for secondary questioning.

But also Wednesday there is another fresh group of 50 potential jurors who will start their initial questions. Those who are deemed appropriate will be added to the 30 already on to the second round.

So what are the judges, defense, and prosecutors looking for? The big one is people who can commit to five weeks of sitting on the jury. A lot of people have been released because a long trial would be a financial hardship for them.

And this may be surprising, but a juror’s age might also be a factor, according to one of our political experts. "We need people that are going to be open minded. Now if I'm on the defense. I would be wanting to look for younger jurors. I want the young jurors because I think the younger people would be a little more likely to listen to the full story. Older person, somebody like me, listening to that maybe we might not be quite as open minded.”

Both sides will also look for people who have not heard about the case to try and get an impartial jury.

From court proceedings Tuesday, we know if a juror has heard about the case, they are being questioned further.

Check back here for continuous updates on Wednesday's proceedings.

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