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State says they're going through witnesses quickly in Mark Sievers trial

Posted at 7:32 AM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-26 07:32:55-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- State prosecutors are set to continue calling witnesses to the stand Tuesday morning in the Mark Sievers trial, but they ran in to an issue in court Monday -- they may be getting through witnesses too quickly for others to get in to town in time for court.

The state says Mark Sievers hired Curtis Wright and Jimmy Rodgers to murder his wife, Dr. Teresa Sievers. Rodgers was convicted of second degree murder last month. Wright took a plea deal in the case. He's expected to get 25 years in prison.

As the state mentioned at the start of this trial, there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle when it comes to evidence in this case. The state spent most of their time Monday trying to help the jury put that puzzle together.

In all, 10 witnesses testified over the course of the day.

When Jeff Conway, Jimmy Rodgers’ boss at Doe Run Mining Facility in Missouri, took the stand, the state used his testimony to explain how Rodgers was trained in not contaminating a scene, which could be their way of explaining the lack of evidence inside the home of Teresa Sievers' murder.

Conway: "Training that teaches you about blood-borne pathogens, air contaminants, how to avoid being contaminated by anything in the plant that may affect you.
Prosecutor: “Was Rodgers required to do this training?”
Conway: “Yes."

He also says they were given equipment to protect themselves -- blue jumpsuits, face masks, latex and leather gloves.

When an investigator from Jefferson County, Missouri took the stand, he showed a pair of the same coveralls used in the Doe Run facility Rodgers worked at. Detective Nick Schuenemann says Jimmy Rodger's ex-girlfriend led him to those blue coveralls found on the side of a Missouri road.

She told investigators that after his trip to Bonita Springs, he threw those coveralls out the window of the car, along with a broken cell phone.

Detective David Lebid also took the stand. The now-Lee County lieutenant was one of the deputies sent to Missouri to investigate Curtis Wright's role in the case.

Sievers' defense focused their questions on Wright's lies, and the idea the department may not have been as thorough in checking those lies as they could have been.

Public defender: “Detective, would you agree with me that Mr. Wright had, over the course of this investigation, given you several untruthful statements?”
Det. Lebid: “Yes.”
Public defender: “And you know that part of his sworn statement agreement, part of that agreement, was he has to provide a polygraph upon demand. Was that correct?”
Det. Lebid: “That sounds right. There’s a lot of details on it.”
Public defender: “Was a polygraph ever administered to Mr. Wright in this case?”
Det. Lebid: “No.”

The state got a chance to respond to those claims.

State prosecutor: “When Mr. Wright lied to you, did you need a lie detector to tell you he was lying?”
Det. Lebid: “No.”
State Prosecutor: “And you're not some kind of human lie-detector, right?
Det. Lebid: “No, I'm not.”

Here's the issue the state's having Tuesday. They got through so many witnesses, so fast, they told the court they were having some issues scheduling witnesses to come to court. They also said Thanksgiving is causing some scheduling issues.

Here's what Judge Bruce Kyle had to say about that. “It is a first degree pre-meditated murder charge, and it is over four years old, and these people are under subpoena. Do what you can.”

The state also mentioned this concern last week before opening statements.


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