The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly.  This information; however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legal purposes. 


RODGERS, Jeremiah (W/M)

DC#    123101

DOB: 04/19/77


First Judicial Circuit, Santa Rosa County Case #9800274

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Paul Rasmussen

Attorney, Trial: David G. White – Private 

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Ryan Truskoski – Private

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Robert A. Harper – Registry


Date of Offense: 05/07/98

Date of Sentence: 11/21/00

Date of Resentence: 06/20/07


Circumstances of Offense:


On 05/08/98, Jonathan Lawrence took Jeremiah Rodgers to pick up Jennifer Robinson from her mother’s house to take her out on a date.  The following day, Robinson’s mother contacted the police to report her daughter missing, since she never returned from her date with Rodgers.


Police also received a phone call from Rodgers’ brother, Elijah.  Rodgers had told Elijah what happened on the date with Robinson.  He told him that Lawrence had shot Robinson and he had Polaroid pictures of her dead body to prove it.  Elijah told the police that Lawrence was responsible for the murder.  Police arrested Lawrence and then arrested Rodgers.


In Rodgers’ original statement, he said Lawrence planned to pick up his girlfriend to join them on the date.  Lawrence never went to his girlfriend’s house.  Instead, he drove out into the woods.  While parked in the woods, the three drank alcohol and Rodgers and Lawrence supposedly both had sex with Robinson.  At one point, Rodgers walked away to go to the bathroom. He heard a gunshot and went back to the truck.  He saw Robinson dead and Lawrence with a gun.  Robinson had been shot in the back of the head.


Rodgers and Lawrence then took Robinson’s body further into the woods. They mutilated her calf, removing the muscle and cut her forehead. They took turns posing with Robinson’s mutilated body and took Polaroid pictures.  Rodgers and Lawrence attempted to burn Robinson’s body but were unsuccessful and buried her remains.


The removed portion of Robinson’s leg was later found in a freezer at Lawrence’s house.  At Lawrence’s house, police also discovered books describing human anatomy and surgery, a hand gun and some of the Polaroid pictures.


Later, Rodgers confessed he was the one who shot Robinson.  He pled guilty to all counts and was sentenced to death on 11/21/00.


Codefendant Information:


Jonathan Lawrence FSC# 00-1827


Codefendant Jonathan Lawrence was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Jennifer Robinson.  He was also convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, providing alcoholic beverages to a minor and abuse of a human corpse.  His prosecution was conducted separately in the First Circuit Court of Santa Rosa County.


Additional Information:


Rodgers was convicted of two other crimes he committed with Lawrence.  Rodgers was found guilty of attempted murder for shooting Leighton Smitherman in 1998.  He was also convicted of murdering Lawrence’s mentally disabled cousin, Justin Livingston, whose body was found buried at the same location as Robinson’s body.  Rodgers pled guilty to the murder charge and was sentenced to life.


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length






4Y 6M 0D






13Y 5M 0D








Trial Summary:


06/04/98          Indicted as follows:

                                    Count I:           Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Murder

                                    Count II:         Supplying Alcohol to a Minor

                                    Count III:        First-Degree Murder (Jennifer Robinson)

                                    Count IV:        Abuse of a Human Corpse     

07/24/00          Rodgers entered a plea of guilty on all counts of the indictment.

08/04/00          Jury recommended death by a vote of 9 to 3.

11/21/00          Sentenced as follows:

Count I:           Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Murder – 18Y 6 M 8D

                                          Count II:         Supplying Alcohol to a Minor – Time Served

Count III:        First -Degree Murder (Jennifer Robinson) – Death

Count IV:        Abuse of Human Corpse – 15Y 0M 0D

06/20/07          Resentenced to death.

10/12/07          Jury vote “waived.”


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 01,185

934 So. 2d 1207


01/25/01          Appeal filed

11/24/04          FSC affirmed conviction and sentence

06/29/06          Rehearing granted

06/29/06          FSC affirmed conviction, reversed sentence, and remanded for a new sentencing hearing

09/26/06          Mandate issued


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 06-6858

549 U.S. 1080


09/27/06          Petition filed

12/04/06          Petition denied


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal, Resentencing

FSC# 07-1652

3 So.3d 1127


09/04/07          Appeal filed

01/08/09          Oral Arguments held

02/05/09          Sentence affirmed

02/26/09          Mandate issued


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


The Direct Appeal was pending from 01/25/01 – 09/26/06.

Case Information:


On 01/25/01, Rodgers filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. In his Direct Appeal, Rodgers contended that evidence related to the codefendant’s obsession with killing and possession of killing paraphernalia was erroneously excluded from the trial.  Rodgers also argued that, since his case had such a great amount of mitigation, the death sentence was unconstitutional and the sentencing judge erroneously ignored the mitigating evidence.  Rodgers argued that his right to confrontation was violated.  He also argued that he was erroneously absent from a conversation his attorney had with the judge regarding his plea and that his attorney erroneously told the judge of his lack of preparation to proceed in the case.  Rodgers’ final arguments were that the state erroneously introduced evidence of a conviction for a prior violent felony made by a judge who should have recused himself, reversal is required under Ring v. Arizona, and that he was forcibly medicated to be tried and sentenced, which violated the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. On 11/24/04, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Rodgers’ convictions and reversed his sentence of death.  On 06/29/06, the Florida Supreme Court granted rehearing and issued a new opinion, in which it affirmed the conviction, reversed the sentence, and remanded for a new sentencing hearing.  Rodgers was resentenced to death on 06/20/07.


Rodgers filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 09/27/06. The petition was denied on 12/04/06.


On 09/04/07, Rodgers filed an appeal for resentencing to the Florida Supreme Court citing the following issues: (1) the trial court erred when it failed to require a new competency hearing before the defendant waived his right to a jury sentencing recommendation and instructed his attorney not to present mitigation; and (2) the trial court erred in deciding that death was the appropriate sentence, given the unparalleled mitigation in this case and the fact that the defendant was only an accomplice.  On 02/05/09, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the death sentence by the lower court.  On 02/26/09, the Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate.


Institutional Adjustment:









UNION C.I.        
















Report Date:   09/28/06          DDK

Updated:        12/07/10          EMJ