BY COURT TV STAFF
Two men are facing the death penalty in the gruesome murder of a beloved holistic doctor in South Florida.
46-year-old Teresa Sievers was bludgeoned to death at her Bonita Springs home on June 28, 2015, after returning home alone from a trip to Connecticut. Her body, which reportedly sustained seventeen blunt force trauma blows, was found the next day.
Investigators had no suspects until they received a tip via phone call on July 9. That tip led to the arrests of Jimmy Ray Rodgers and a longtime friend of Teresa’s husband, Curtis Wright. Despite a cloud of suspicion, Teresa’s husband lived as a free man until February 26, 2016.
Prosecutors say Mark Sievers planned his wife’s murder with the help of Wright, who allegedly traveled to Missouri to hire Rodgers as a hitman and brought him back to Southwest Florida. Although investigators believe Rodgers killed Teresa, Mark and Wright are accused of orchestrating the attack.
Detectives still aren’t clear on Mark’s alleged motive. Text messages and phone records between the couple reportedly show a roller coaster marriage filled with intense affection, contempt and “swinging,” which included flirtation between Teresa and Wright. Friends of the couple reportedly told investigators their marriage was rocky, and Mark may have feared he would lose his daughters in a divorce. Multi-million-dollar life insurance policies taken out on Teresa also suggest a financial motive.
Mark is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Rodgers is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree burglary while armed. Both defendants are facing the death penalty. Wright, who will testify as a key witness, took a 25-year plea deal for his role.
- April 30: Mark and Wright allegedly begin to plot Teresa’s death.
- June 28-29: Teresa’s body found in her Bonita Springs home.
- July 9: Investigators receive a tip about Teresa’s killers.
- August 25: Jimmy Ray Rodgers arrested.
- August 27: Curtis Wright arrested.
- February 25-26: Wright accepts a plea deal. Mark arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
- May 4: Grand jury indicts Rodgers and Mark.
- May 5: While in custody, Mark is served with a warrant for first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
- June 22: Prosecutors file notice of intent to seek the death penalty against Rodgers and Mark.
- August 19: Judge Bruce Kyle grants Defense motion to have Rodgers and Mark tried separately.
- October 1: Jury selection begins in the trials of FL v. Sievers and FL v. Rodgers.