Mark Sievers trial: Jury selection: Day 2

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Mark Sievers trial. Photo via WINK News

Day two of jury selection kicked off with half of the initial group of potential jurors being dismissed after being asked about issues serving on the jury.

Of the starting 50 potential jurors, 20 were dismissed after the first round of questions, including financial hardships, medical conditions, etc., that would prevent them from serving.

When the judge asked if anyone knows Mark Sievers or any of the attorneys involved, one woman raised her hand and said she’s known his daughters for years.

As of a bit before noon, there were roughly 20 potential jurors left in the courtroom. More than half have said they’ve heard something about the Sievers trial.

This doesn’t mean that they cannot eventually sit on the jury. It just depends on what they know and whether or not they’ve formed an opinion.

So far, six jurors have been asked to return tomorrow afternoon as potential jurors.

Around 12:30 p.m., Sievers was at the back of the courtroom awaiting medical attention after vomiting in a trashcan. The defense mentioned Sievers had a headache earlier Wednesday morning.

The court took a lunch break until 1:45 p.m. while Sievers waited for a medical team.

The Judge, in hopes of drawing “as little attention to this as possible,” stepped out to instead tell potential jurors he has something else on his docket he needs to take care of. He went into the hallway to address them instead of having them come into the courtroom without Sievers present.

Court returned as normal and Sievers appears to be feeling better.

Another group of potential jurors was brought in after the lunch break. As of around 4:30 p.m., 25 of the 48 were dismissed after just the first round of questions.

The judge then explained to the remaining people which case they are here for and asked if they know Mark Sievers or any of the attorneys and if they are familiar with the case.

Only five people said they hadn’t heard of the Sievers case. The remaining people are being asked how much they know.

Potential jurors for the trial against Mark Sievers will be asked their position on the death penalty.

Sievers is accused of planning the murder of his wife, Doctor Teresa Sievers, who was killed in her Bonita Springs home, back in 2015.

The issue with the timing of the beginning of the trial is the holidays could stretch it out even longer than expected.

For day one of jury selection, almost half of the first 50 potential jurors were sent home. Only a handful of people told the judge they had not heard about the case before.

And many already made travel plans for the upcoming holidays.

A former jury consultant says that is just one of the issues attorneys face with seating this jury.

“You can already tell a little bit that they recognize Mark Sievers. They knew what case they were there for,” said former jury consultant, Erica Baer.

If Sievers is found guilty of First Degree Murder, the jury will be needed for the penalty phase of the trial.

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