Prosecutors in the murder case of a beloved Florida doctor announced Wednesday they plan to seek the death penalty for two suspects in her gruesome killing, including her husband.
State to seek death penalty for Mark Sievers and Jimmy Ray Rodgers in Teresa Sievers murder case. pic.twitter.com/1NAFEwCY9m— Michael Braun (@MichaelBraunNP) June 22, 2016
Teresa Sievers, 46, a holistic physician and mother of two, was found bludgeoned to death in the kitchen of her Bonita Springs home last June. Investigators recovered a hammer with blood and hair on it nearby.
The doctor reportedly had returned home early from a vacation in Connecticut, leaving her husband and children behind to go to work.
Prosecutors initially filed murder charges against two men from Missouri: a friend of Sievers' husband and a man spotted at a Fort Myers Walmart near the Sievers' home the day before the doctor's body was found.
However, in December, investigators announced a stunning twist in the case. They said Sievers' husband, Mark, orchestrated the attack to cash in on insurance policies, and promised the two Missouri men a chunk of the $4.4 million payout.
Police had arrested the first two suspects, 26-year-old Jimmy Rodgers and 46-year-old Curtis Wayne Wright, in August.
Mark Sievers, 48, tried collecting the insurance weeks before those arrests, The News-Press reported. The insurance company, Ohio National Life, refused to pay him citing the criminal investigation.
Wright pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in February in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence. He agreed to help prosecutors in their case against Mark Sievers, the newspaper added. The state also took custody of the children — ages 9 and 11 — in February.
After prosecutors announced they intended to seek the death penalty against Sievers and Rodgers, the husband's defense attorney Antonio Faga responded, “We are not surprised that the state has taken this position, however we feel it is not an accurate position based upon the fact Mr. Sievers is innocent.” There was no immediate response from Rodgers' attorney.