Nearly a month after the Florida Supreme Court denied a motion by a Bonita Springs man on death row for his wife’s 2015 murder that sought to reverse a recent ruling, the case took another step forward.
Court records indicate that on Feb. 10 the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the first-degree murder conviction, corresponding death sentence and conviction for conspiracy to commit murder in the case against Mark Sievers, 54.
The state affirmed the charges a week after appointing the Office of the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel Southern Region to handle Sievers’ postconviction proceedings. The deadline to file a notice of appearance or file a motion to withdraw based on conflict of interest is March 5, records indicate.
The next step would be for Gov. Ron DeSantis to sign a death warrant, setting Sievers’ execution date.
A jury convicted Sievers on Dec. 4, 2019, in the slaying of Teresa Sievers, a 46-year-old Southwest Florida doctor.
On June 28, 2015, Teresa Sievers left a family vacation and returned alone to her Bonita Springs home.
After she pulled into the garage, retrieved her luggage and walked into the house, Curtis Wayne Wright and Jimmy Ray Rodgers beat her in the head with hammers.
Court records indicate the plot began weeks earlier, when Mark Sievers traveled to Missouri for Wright’s May wedding.
Wright agreed to “take care of it” for at least $100,000 in life insurance proceeds, the records show. Wright later recruited Rodgers.
Lee Circuit Judge Bruce Kyle sentenced Rodgers to life in prison, convicted of second-degree murder and trespassing by a Lee County jury in October 2019.
On Feb. 10, 2020, Kyle sentenced Wright to 25 years for his role in Teresa Sievers’ murder.
Over the past few months, Sievers has sought to reverse a recent ruling, claiming a lack of evidence.
A motion filed Dec. 1, 2022, claimed the court dismissed two 2016 interviews with Wright — a full video and a short excerpted clip, both exhibits in the case. Sievers asked to include an excerpt of a February 2016 meeting where Wright attempts to negotiate terms of a plea deal to spare his wife, who was suspected of being involved.
The exclusion of the “crucial” video evidence violated Sievers’ constitutional rights under the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments, the motion argued.
The motion also addressed the exclusion of a neighbor’s testimony recounting snippets of an argument she overheard between husband and wife a weeks before the murder.
Sievers’ defense claims that the court overlooked the possibility that the jury improperly used the testimony to corroborate Wright’s testimony as to Sievers’ motivation.
Sievers’ lawyers claimed that Wright’s testimony alone don’t satisfy the Constitutional standards to justify Sievers’ conviction and death sentence given the lack of corroboration, the terms of the deal made with Wright, and his alleged propensity to lie to the police and prosecutors.
Sievers’ death row appeal was denied in November.
Tomas Rodriguez is a Breaking/Live News Reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. You can reach Tomas at TRodriguez@gannett.com or 772-333-5501. Connect with him on Twitter @TomasFRoBeltran, Instagram @tomasfrobeltran and Facebook @tomasrodrigueznews.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Florida Supreme Court affirms convictions against Mark Sievers