Attorneys for Jimmy Rodgers file motion for new trial, says state has new evidence

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Jimmy Ray Rodgers

Jimmy Rodgers was found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Teresa Sievers. But now, his attorneys say new evidence has been disclosed. The motion states, “If said evidence had been introduced at trial, it would have changed the verdict or finding of the court.”

The motion details the evidence in question, saying one week after he was found guilty, the state notified the defense that they had additional statements from witness Dr. Mark Petrites prior to Rodger’s trial. Those statements read:

  • Mark Sievers was committing Medicare Fraud and was taking cash from patients while also billing Medicare.
  • In the months prior to the murder, Dr. Petrites overheard a heated discussion between Dr, and Mr. Sievers wherein she was unhappy with due to money paid to Curtis Wright for work on company servers.
  • Mark Sievers, at some point early in the investigation, told Dr. Petrites that he “knew what all had happened.”
  • After Curtis Wright was arrested, Mark Sievers wanted the jail staff to allow Curtis Wright access to a computer to work on the servers in the medical practice from jail.
  • Mark Sievers defended Curtis Wright and questioned the evidence against him.

There is precedent and rules for holding a new trial but certain criteria must be met. Under Rule 3.600 of the Florida Rules of Criminal Procedure, a new trial will not be awarded on the basis of newly discovered evidence unless:

  1. The evidence was discovered after the trial;
  2. Due diligence was exercised to have such evidence at the former trial;
  3. The evidence goes to the merits of the cause and not merely to impeach a witness who testified;
  4. the evidence is not cumulative; and,
  5. It is such that it probably would have changed the verdict.

Also, the defense continues to argue Denial of Motion to Continue, saying there wasn’t enough time to evaluate 4,797 pages of additional discovery that was received only weeks before trial.

The discovery contained “analysis and review of trace evidence and mitochondrial DNA,” according to the motion.

They argue the “substantial volume of trace evidence material in question could not accurately and completely be analyzed and evaluated in sufficient time for the trial on October 1.”

Included in the motion is a letter from Dr. Albert. H. Lyter III, President and Chief Science Officer of Federal Forensic Associates, Inc.

Dr. Lyter says he was asked by the defense to complete forensic analysis on evidence in the case in May 2019. However, he said more information was needed to complete the review and it would not be ready in time for trial, stating a mid-November completion date.

The next steps are to await a decision from the judge on the motion.

DOCUMENT: Click here to read the full Motion for New Trial

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