A jury in Florida has recommended that Mark Sievers be sentenced to death for the murder of his wife Teresa Sievers. According to court documents Mark Sievers planned his wife’s murder with Curtis Wayne Wright Jr and Jimmy Ray Rodgers. Curtis Wayne Wright Jr and Jimmy Ray Rodgers who met when both were incarcerated in Missouri were convicted of second degree murder and both are awaiting sentencing. Mark Sievers who was convicted of capital murder in the death of his wife was the mastermind behind the brutal murder of Teresa Sievers who was beaten to death with a hammer. Curtis Wright Jr would testify against Sievers in exchange for a lighter sentence was the prosecutors main witness.
Mark Sievers Other News
A Lee County jury recommended the death sentence for a Bonita Springs man convicted in the 2015 killing of his wife after three hours of deliberations Tuesday.
The sentence recommendation came less than a week after Mark Sievers, 51, was convicted of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder by the same jury in connection with the killing of Teresa Sievers, 46.
“He will never be able to hurt anyone in my family or anyone that comes into his path that is not convenient for his life,” said Ann Lisa, the victim’s sister. “I never doubted for one second that he was guilty.”
Mark Sievers was joined in the courtroom by his mother, brother, stepsister and stepmother, who testified on his behalf Tuesday. The defendant and his family did not show much of a reaction when the verdict was read.
The final sentencing decision during a death penalty trial in Florida comes from the judge.
Lee Circuit Judge Bruce Kyle will hear additional evidence and decide whether he will side with the jury and sentence Mark Sievers to death or overturn the decision in favor of life in prison without parole at a hearing at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 9.
Mark Sievers is a sociopath and is where he belongs, Lisa said. She spoke about the daughters of Teresa and Mark Sievers outside the courtroom after the verdict.
“I just want everyone to know that these are two absolutely spectacular girls,” Lisa said. “They had a remarkable mother, as you heard today, and all of my sister’s great talents, spirit and gifts have been instilled in those girls.”
More than four years after her sister was killed, Lisa said it’s time to be positive and loving as she and her mother raise the daughters of Teresa Sievers.
“If there’s any two girls in the world that can come out of this like stars, it’s these two girls,” Lisa said.
The defense team and Mark Sievers’ family did not comment after the verdict. They took a back exit out of the courtroom to avoid reporters and cameras.
The jury only had two options Tuesday between recommending the death penalty or sentencing Mark Sievers to life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors were tasked with proving beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one aggravating factor applied to Mark Sievers to make him eligible for the death penalty.
Florida Statute outlines 16 aggravating factors, including some related to the defendant’s criminal history and the age and person of the victim.
The prosecution team chose to focus on proving two aggravating factors. The first being that Mark Sievers killed his wife for pecuniary or financial gain and the second that the murder was committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any moral or legal justification.
Jurors sided with prosecutors in that the second aggravating factor applied to the defendant, according to the verdict form read aloud.
Mark Sievers’ defense was allowed to present mitigating circumstances to try and persuade the jury to choose the life in prison without parole sentence instead of the death sentence.
The defense team pointed to Mark Sievers’ love for his family, specifically his two daughters, the divorce of his parents at a young age, moving frequently during his childhood and the charity work he’s done as mitigating factors.
Jurors unanimously agreed to recommend the death penalty to the judge and decided the aggravating factors outweighed any mitigating circumstances presented by the defense.
After sitting in the gallery for the majority Mark Sievers’ trial, the victim’s mother finally got to speak Tuesday to the jury about the impact of her daughter’s death.
Teresa Sievers was found bludgeoned to death more than four years ago on the kitchen floor of her family’s home on Jarvis Road.
The last days of Teresa Sievers’ life were spent with her mother, Mary Ann Groves, daughters and siblings. While reading a victim impact statement, Groves told the jury those days were the happiest of her life.
It was the last time she took a family photo with all her children, Groves said.
Teresa Sievers was bludgeoned to death after arriving home alone late on June 28, 2015, while Mark Sievers and the couple’s daughters stayed behind for a few extra days of vacation.
Mark Sievers planned his wife’s murder with help from his best friend Curtis Wayne Wright Jr., prosecutors told the jury before Mark Sievers was convicted.
A third man, Jimmy Rodgers, was enlisted to help with the murder by Wright and the pair killed Teresa Sievers with hammers, prosecutors said. He will be sentenced Thursday in Judge Kyle’s courtroom.
Assistant State Attorney Cynthia Ross told jurors the testimony from the victim’s mother was not to be weighed as an aggravating factor but used to understand the uniqueness of Teresa Sievers and the loss to the community.
Groves spent much of her testimony focusing on the impacts felt by the two daughters of Teresa Sievers and Mark Sievers.
“These two girls have been robbed of their remarkable mother, their home, their pets, their possessions, their family and friends,” Groves said. “Teresa will not be able to love and guide them.”
The Sievers daughters won’t be able to watch their mother dance and sing while cooking in the kitchen, and Teresa Sievers will miss out the high graduations of her daughters, Groves said.
“They will spend the rest of their lives hoping to hold onto memories of their mother they once knew and trying to forget the nightmare she endured the last days, moments of her life,” Groves said.
Mark Sievers appeared emotional during his mother-in-law’s testimony. He appeared to cry and at points looked like he was nodding in agreement with Groves.
Teresa Sievers, who ran her own medical practice in Estero, wasn’t satisfied with what Western medicine could offer her patients and went back to school multiple times to learn about other forms, Groves said.
The doctor found the missing piece when she explored Eastern medicine and, under her direction, patients began to thrive, Groves said.
“Teresa touched the lives of so many people and she was on the cusp of reaching the world,” Groves said.
Teresa Sievers had filmed several episodes of a television show during which she spoke about her work as a doctor and medicinal approaches.
Jurors heard Teresa Sievers’ voice for the first time as two short clips from the television show was played on a projector screen while Groves was on the witness stand.
Teresa Sievers’ energy and passion filled the courtroom as she talked about mind, body and energy medicine and intuitive medicine. In the second video she spoke of preventive medicine.
Both of Mark Sievers’ co-defendants in the case are awaiting sentencing. Jimmy Ray Rodgers, 29, was convicted by a Lee County jury of second-degree murder on Oct. 23 after about a month-long trial.
Curtis Wayne Wright Jr., 51, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2016 in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.
Wright admitted to the killing while testifying on behalf of the prosecution in the Rodgers and Mark Sievers trials and said Mark Sievers was going to pay him for the murder.
Mark Sievers was motivated to have his wife killed in part for the large amount of money from insurance policies on her life, prosecutors alleged before jurors convicted Mark Sievers on Dec. 4.
“We have all lost so much,” Groves said before stepping off the witness stand. “Not only have we lost our Teresa, but my children have lost the mother they once knew because a big part of me died with her on June 28, 2015.”
During her opening statement, Ross told the jury the prosecution was not going to recall witnesses or re-present evidence from earlier in the trial.
The state asked jurors to mostly rely on their memories from the trial when considering whether aggravating factors apply to Mark Sievers.
“So much of the testimony and exhibits in the guilt phase of this trial speak to the cold, calculated and premeditated nature of this horrific homicide,” Ross said. “This crime was planned over time.”
Ross did highlight cell phone records and Wright’s testimony about planning the murder as evidence that the cold, calculated and premediated aggravating factor applied to Mark Sievers.
The state rested its case after Groves stepped down from the witness stand
The defense team called Mark Sievers’ mother, brother, stepsister and stepmother to testify to convince jurors to reject the death penalty.
Bonnie Sievers, Mark Sievers’ mother, had not previously appeared in court during the trial before Tuesday, but testified she has visited her son in jail every week and sometimes twice a week since his arrest in 2016.
Bonnie Sievers and the father of the Mark Sievers and his siblings divorced when Mark was 10, Bonnie Sievers testified. Mark Sievers is her second youngest of four children, she said.
“Mark was fun to be with, he was curious,” Bonnie Sievers said. “He was kind as a child, he still is.”
Mark Sievers was his grandfather’s caretaker, who had diabetes and lived to be almost 103, Bonnie Sievers said.
Mark Sievers appeared emotional during his mother’s testimony and at points appeared to nod in agreement
Her son was a hands-on, loving father before his arrest and did charity work with an organization that supported unwed mothers and victims of human trafficking, Bonnie Sievers said.
If sentenced to life in prison without parole, Bonnie Sievers said she would continue to support her son.
“Of course, he’s my baby, he’s my son and I would always be there for him,” Bonnie Sievers said.
Scott Sievers said he stayed in touch with his older brother Mark Sievers even after he moved away from Missouri to Florida.
“Almost every conversation he was bragging about something his daughters had done,” Scott Sievers said.
Connie Reiss said Mark Sievers is her stepbrother and one of her oldest friends. Mark Sievers was the glue of the family and a constant source of support, she said.
“The girls are his universe, and they love him with equal intensity,” Reiss said of Mark Sievers and his two daughters.
Since Mark Sievers’ arrest, she has maintained contact with him through the mail and sometimes through phone calls, Reiss said.
The final witness called to testify by the defense on Tuesday was Mark Sievers’ stepmother Jennie Weckelman, who lives in Naples and attended most of her stepson’s trial.
Weckelman married Mark Sievers father, Michael Sievers, who died of pancreatic cancer in 1992, she said.
Mark Sievers was a waiter, transportation supervisor and worked at a casino and nursing home, Weckelman said.
Mark Sievers was a hands-on father and loved spending time with his daughters, Weckelman said.
“I love my stepson, very much,” Weckelman said when asked if she would continue to support Mark Sievers if he is sentenced to life in prison.
During his opening statement, defense attorney Gregory Messore told the jurors they were about to make perhaps the most important decision in their lives.
“When we talk about choosing life over death, just one of you, if you find in your mind, in your heart, in your soul to reach that, you have the power to give life,” Messore said.
Mark Sievers appeared emotionless during the closing arguments portion of the trial Tuesday and looked down at the table in front of him for much of it.
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Mark Sievers 2020 Information
|Name:||SIEVERS, MARK D|
|Initial Receipt Date:||01/17/2020|
|Current Facility:||UNION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
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