Sievers attorney: there was no murder for hire plot

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FILE Photo of Mark Sievers mugshot from 2016 – Photo courtesy of Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Mark Sievers and Jimmy Ray Rodgers pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges on Monday in the death of Dr. Teresa Sievers.

Both men, who were originally charged with second-degree murder, are also charged with conspiracy to commit murder. Rodgers faces an additional charge of burglary.

Sievers and Rodgers were indicted on the new charges following a grand jury proceeding last week.

Teresa Sievers, Mark’s wife, was found bludgeoned to death inside the kitchen of the couple’s Bonita Springs home in June 2015. Investigators believe Mark Sievers planned the killing and promised Wayne Wright, his childhood friend, payment for carrying out the plan.

Wright accepted a plea deal and is expected to testify against Rodgers, his close friend, and Mark Sievers.

Yet Mark Sievers’ attorney Antonio Faga says there is reasonable doubt as to whether he asked Wayne Wright to commit the murder.

“Clearly, if you look at Wayne’s statements to date, they are pulled out of context. You need to look at his entire statement to arrive at a fair conclusion as to whether this was done at Mark’s insistence or was it Curtis Wayne Wright merely trying to curry favor with Mark,” Faga said. “Wright’s testimony in and of itself is somewhat contradictory at different spots.”

Faga, who represents Sievers alongside Michael Mummert, says their client is innocent.

“It’s our position this is not a murder-for-hire case and Mark is going to found not guilty,” Faga said. “Most of the people believe Mark is guilty as charged today and while he certainly has a serious charge, it’s a capital case, he is innocent as he sits before us.”

Faga says the State Attorney’s Office says it’s possible they’ll go for the death penalty. The defense attorneys are not death penalty certified, but that just means Sievers has the option to get a certified lawyer.

Faga also says, if this case goes to trial, it may need to be held in another county, because all the media exposure could make it hard to pick an unbiased jury in Lee County.


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