Rumors, doubt swirl around Sievers case

Published: Updated:
Dr. Teresa Sievers. Photo via WINK News.

ST. LOUIS – Jerry Lubinski doesn’t believe his close friend, Wayne Wright, killed Dr. Teresa Sievers – despite evidence to the contrary.

Evidence that includes Lubinski telling investigators information that placed Wright in Florida when Sievers was killed.

But Lubinski said what he told detectives, and what was documented in his official witness statement, are two different things.

“They were putting down what they wanted to put down,” he said from his St. Louis home. “That’s the best way I can say it. As a friend, I’d go to bat for him right now. I still believe somewhere in there, there are a lot of things that are wrong.”

WINK News traveled to Missouri to learn more about Sievers’ accused killers, speaking with their family and friends to gain context behind their statements to investigators about the two men.

Sievers, 46, was found bludgeoned to death with a hammer inside the kitchen of her Bonita Springs home in June 2015. Wright, 47, the best friend of Sievers’ husband, Mark, is charged with second-degree murder. Jimmy Ray Rodgers, 25, is charged in connection with the killing. He is near the completion of a six month federal sentence for a probation violation in an unrelated gun case.

Court documents allege Mark Sievers’ involvement, but he has not been charged.

Prosecutors have released tens of thousands of pages outlining their evidence against Wright and Rodgers, and their suspicion of Mark Sievers, including search warrants, affidavits, crime scene photos, hundreds of memes from Rodgers’ Facebook account and Wright’s girlfriend saying in a sworn statement that he and Rodgers killed Teresa Sievers for insurance money.

Questionable tactics 

Included in that evidence are statements from Lubinski, who told a reporter he felt pressured by detectives to answer questions the way they wanted him to.

“I would say it’s the way they questioned me,” he said. “They wanted their answers instead of my answers. My answers are just what I am giving you. One detective was very adamant he was guilty, and he was going to get him no matter what.”

Lubinski said the Lee County Sheriff’s Office investigators were nice until they started asking about a GPS system Wright and Rodgers allegedly used.

The GPS, which was in a vehicle Rodgers rented, showed routes from Wright’s residence to Rodgers’ home, then to the Sievers residence. The route placed the pair at the Jarvis Road home hours before she was killed, investigators said.

“They definitely wanted me to say it was mine, and I couldn’t say that,” he said.

Investigators said they found multiple deleted searches on the device, including a search for ‘Bonita Beach’ while the GPS was in the area of East Terry Street and Southern Pines Drive in Bonita Springs, and another search for a Walmart.

Authorities found surveillance video of Wright and Rodgers leaving the Walmart on Six Mile Cypress Parkway in Fort Myers on June 28 at approximately 11 a.m.

Sievers was found dead the next morning.

Detectives asked Lubinski, despite the evidence, why he believes Wright is innocent.

“I still feel he is a good Christian man,” he said. “I pray for him. I know he didn’t do the murder. I would bet everything I have on it.”

It’s common for those questioned by investigators to change their story after realizing they said something they should not have, said David Grossi, a former FBI agent.

Those questioned by authorities have the opportunity to sign their statements, which indicates that their words are accurate, said Grossi, who added that detectives typically don’t lie during an interrogation, but will say things to gauge an emotional response. Such is not inappropriate or illegal, he said.

Doubtful mother-in-law

Wright’s mother-in-law, Kathy Moran, isn’t so sure about Wright’s innocence.

In a sworn statement, Wright’s wife, Angela, told investigators he said that he was going to Florida the weekend Teresa Sievers was killed.

But a few days later, she tried to convince Moran, her mother, that he didn’t go – despite Angela Wright previously complaining and crying to her that he did.

“Then after that, everything just went phew, open hands wide,” Moran said from her Ballwin, Mo., home. “It’s like a whirlwind, you know. It’s he said, she said, they said. It’s like no one knows.”

It made sense for Wright to travel to Florida, Moran said.

“He said he was going to work on…personally I got the idea, he was going to work on the clinic,” said Moran, referring to Teresa Sievers’ medical practice. “It was nothing for him to do work for Mark, I mean they’ve been best friends since they were kids.”

Wright’s first lawyer, Darris Almond of Hillsboro, Mo., said there are signed witness statements that put Wright in Missouri the weekend Teresa Sievers was killed. He declined to show those statements to a reporter.

Moran said Wright never gave her a bad impression, adding that her daughter was “ecstatically happy” about being with him.

The couple dated when they were younger, then broke up before meeting again 19 years later, Moran said.

“You don’t know how a certain person can be,” she said. “How they can change? Again, what you appear, and what you are are two different things.”

Moran believes her daughter is covering something up, but said the truth will eventually come out.

“When somebody does something wrong, It will come out in the end,” she said. “They have to pay their own maker.”

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.