The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction and death sentence of a Lee County man in the murder-for-hire death of his wife.
Justices unanimously rejected arguments by attorneys for Mark D. Sievers, who was convicted in the 2015 murder of Teresa Sievers, a doctor who was bludgeoned with hammers after returning home from a vacation.
Sievers was accused of asking a longtime friend, Curtis Wayne Wright Jr., to murder Teresa Sievers. Wright, who expected to receive a portion of life-insurance money, recruited another man, Jimmy Ray Rodgers, and they traveled to Florida from Missouri, according to the Supreme Court opinion.
Teresa Sievers returned home alone from a family vacation and was attacked after entering her home. During a trial, an attorney for Mark Sievers argued “there was no credible evidence” tying him to the crime, the Supreme Court opinion said.
But a jury in 2019 found him guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and he was later sentenced to death.
Mark Sievers raised a series of challenges at the Supreme Court to the conviction and death sentence, but the justices rejected them.
“Wright’s testimony was sufficient to establish every necessary element of the crime, and it is not for our (Supreme) Court to determine the credibility of that testimony,” the 38-page opinion said. “Specifically, the jury could conclude from Wright’s testimony that Sievers had promised to pay Wright to murder Dr. Sievers, that Sievers and Wright carefully planned the murder weeks in advance, and that Wright and Rodgers murdered Dr. Sievers according to Sievers’ plan.”