Judge sentences husband to death penalty in Florida doctor’s hammer killing

January 3, 2020

BY COURT TV STAFF

UPDATED 1/3/2020 Judge Bruce Kyle sentenced Mark Sievers to death for the first-degree murder of his wife Teresa, and he gave him a 30-year-sentence for conspiracy, to be served concurrently. Sievers had been jailed for 1,408 days, for which he’ll be given credit for time served.

  • There was a last-minute appeal filed by Sievers’ attorney to spare him of the death penalty during the Spencer hearing. Judge Kyle rejected that request.
  • The Spencer hearing allowed Sievers to provide additional evidence to change the penalties imposed at sentencing.
  • During the hearing, Sievers read a written statement in court and proclaimed his innocence of all charges:
    • “Although a jury found me guilty, I am innocent of all charges.”
    • “I cannot feel remorse for something I had nothing to do with and will fight this wrongful conviction.”
    • He referenced his love for his wife and their two young daughters.
  • Judge Kyle addressed Sievers’ claim of innocence:
    • “ I judge people’s actions, not their souls.”
    • “If I’m wrong, hopefully, God will have mercy on our souls.”

Judge Kyle addressed Teresa Sievers’ family regarding his decision. Teresa’s family agreed with the decision. An appeal to the Florida Supreme Court is automatically filed on Sievers’ behalf.

 

UPDATED 12/10/19 A Florida jury has recommended the death penalty for Mark Sievers after being convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit the brutal murder of his wife, Teresa Sievers. Judge Bruce Kyle will decide whether to uphold the jury’s recommendation after a Spencer hearing scheduled for January 9, 2020, at 8:30 a.m.

A Spencer hearing is an opportunity to convince the trial judge to override the recommendation put forth by the jury. This hearing is not an avenue for appealing the conviction as it is accomplished prior to the formal appeal process.

UPDATED 12/4/19: A jury found a Florida husband guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Mark Sievers now faces the death penalty for planning the murder of his wife, holistic doctor Teresa Sievers. Prosecutors argued Seivers planned his wife’s murder for life-insurance money and custody of their two daughters. Two other men have already been convicted for carrying out the brutal murder with a hammer.

The penalty phase will begin on Tuesday, December 10 at 8:30 am ET.

 

<<<ORIGINAL STORY>>>

FORT MYERS – A Florida man will go to trial for his wife’s murder nearly one month after the hitman was found guilty of second-degree murder.

 

Mark Sievers is facing the death penalty for the gruesome murder of beloved holistic doctor Teresa Sievers. 46-year-old Teresa Sievers was bludgeoned to death at her Bonita Springs home on June 28, 2015, after returning home alone from a  family trip to Connecticut. Her body, which 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, 2015. 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 Rodgers was convicted of second-degree murder in Oct. 2019, Mark and Wright are accused of orchestrating the attack. Wright, who took a 25-year plea deal, testified against Rodgers.

TIMELINE:

2015

  • 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.

2016

  • February 25-26: Wright accepts a plea deal. Mark arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

    Curtis Wright/Court TV

  • 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.

2017

  • June 28: Exactly two years after her death, the estate of Teresa Sievers files a civil lawsuit against Mark for causing her death resulting in the loss of support and mental pain and suffering of her heirs.

2018

  • The Sievers’ home goes into foreclosure and is sold in January 2019, for $271,000.

2019

  • August 19: Judge Bruce Kyle grants Defense motion to have Rodgers and Mark tried separately.
  • October 1: Trial of Florida v. Jimmy Rodgers begins.
  • October 23: A jury finds Jimmy Rodgers guilty of second-degree murder and trespass. Rodgers is found not guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy. He faces life in prison.
  • November 12: Jury selection in the trial of FL v. Mark Sievers begins.
  • November 20: Opening statements
  • December 2: Prosecution rests.

 

This story has been updated.

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