FORT MYERS, Fla. – A Lee County judge said she needs more time to determine whether Mark Sievers’ two children should remain in his custody. Investigators believe Sievers planned and helped execute a murder-for-hire plot resulting in his wife’s death. Sievers has not been charged in the crime.
For now, their two daughters, ages 8 and 11, will remain in his custody.
Lee County Circuit Court Judge Lee A. Schreiber said the details in recently released documents about the case were not enough to determine whether the children are in any danger. She determined there was no probable cause to immediately remove the children, but gave the state Department of Children and Families until 1:30 p.m. Monday to gather more information.
Sievers’ had no comment as he left the courthouse. The family of Dr. Teresa Sievers said they will wait for Schreiber’s decision before deciding whether to comment.
It was the details in those documents, including investigators’ theory regarding Mark Sievers, that led DCF to request the Friday afternoon emergency shelter hearing. DCF Attorney Kristin Allain said the department fears the children are in “impending danger” due to concerns regarding Mark Sievers’ reaction if he is arrested.
Allain said there are no signs of abuse or neglect but mentioned a medical neglect report that was made on Nov. 23. DCF officials did not elaborate on the report, citing HIPPA and state law regarding ongoing child protection investigations.
Mark Sievers made custody arrangements in case of his incarceration, but the person he chose was denied due to having a verified sexual abuse report, Allain said. She added that the department has a plan in place for the children in case of his arrest.
Pamela Montgomery, who represented Mark Sievers, argued that any assumption of an arrest is speculative and questioned the validity of the documents because they were not signed or dated. She called one of the case’s lead detectives to the stand to verify the documents.
Teresa Sievers, 46, was found dead inside her Bonita Springs home on June 29. Curtis Wayne Wright, 47, Mark Sievers’ friend since elementary school, is charged with second-degree murder. Jimmy Ray Rodgers, 25, was arrested in connection with the killing. He is serving six months in federal prison for a probation violation in an unrelated gun case.
The documents, released Tuesday, detailed the evidence against Wright and Rodgers and the alleged motivation for their involvement.
“This murder was committed in expectation of Wright getting paid an undisclosed amount of money from Mark Sievers and then in turn, he was to pay Rodgers $10,000 for his involvement,” Lee County Sheriff’s Office detectives said in the documents.