A trial for the husband accused of in the killing of popular Bonita Springs doctor Teresa Sievers will be delayed after the attorneys involved said they weren't ready, the Fort Myers News-Press reports. Attorneys for both sides previously requested to delay Mark Sievers' trial but were denied by Judge Bruce Kyle. No new trial date was set.
Mark Sievers has been jailed since Feb. 26, 2016, on two homicide charges and conspiracy to commit homicide in her death. The judge declined to set bond.
Curtis Wayne Wright pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is expected to help prosecutors in the case. Sentencing in Wright's case is scheduled for July 15. Wright's friend Jimmy Ray Rodgers is also charged with first-degree murder in Sievers' death. Rodgers remains in Collier County Jail.
A judge decided not to approve a motion for continuance in the Mark Sievers trial, and instead set a pretrial conference for 8:30 a.m. May 9 to reassess, according to court documents filed in Lee County, The Fort Myers News-Press reports.
The trial for Mark Sievers, of Bonita Springs, and his accused co-conspirator, Jimmy Ray Rodgers, is to begin June 3. Sievers could face the death penalty.
In Florida, a high-profile murder case that is sure to grab headlines around the world when it goes to trial involves a prominent doctor with a secret side, two look-a-like suspects and a grisly murder scene.
She was a beautiful doctor who appeared to have a picture-perfect life. But when Teresa Sievers came home alone from a family trip, she walked in to a deadly trap and was brutally murdered in her kitchen. The instrument of death was a hammer.
Doctor Teresa Sievers was well-known in Southwest Florida thanks to numerous articles about her practice, where she specialized in hormone therapy, and she had a YouTube channel, where she spoke about her brand of alternative medicine.
Teresa was at a family gathering in Connecticut with her husband Mark Sievers and their two daughters in June 2015. One Sunday night she returned home alone to Bonita Springs. She had patients in the morning. Images of her at the airport are the last known of her alive.
When Teresa didn't show up for work, Mark -- who was also Teresa's business manager -- exchanges text messages with Teresa's nurse Sandra Hoskins: "I am checking with Dr. as well, she's not answering her phone for me either."
"And I said 'Mark, do you want me to go to your house?' And I got one word: 'No,'" said Hoskins.
Mark Sievers then asked another colleague of Teresa's to go by the house. He walked in on a murder scene so bloody it defies comparison.
911: "911, what is your emergency?"
Caller: "Uh, I'm at a friend's house. He's out of town, and I came here to check on his wife, and she's dead on the floor."
He seemed terrified about a killer on the loose.
Caller: "I'm afraid somebody's in the house, I mean somebody killed her. It's a murder. She's bashed in the back of the head. My God, she's my friend."
As deputies rush to the house, Nurse Sandra says she had a chilling phone conversation.
"I called Mark and I said 'Mark, I know you told me not to go to your house, but I don't know what is going on,' and his words were 'Do not tell anyone the doctor is dead,'" said Sandra Hoskins.
The door looked like it was jimmied open. Detectives found a crowbar in the grass. On the bloody tile floor in the kitchen they saw Teresa's wallet, missing a credit card. And right there was the murder weapon: A hammer caked with blood and clumps of hair.
Teresa's mother-in-law, Bonnie Sievers, tearfully tells the detective she was at the house the day before. She claims Mark told her not to set the alarm so the dogs wouldn't set off the motion detector.
Many began to wonder: Was Teresa's killing linked to the mysterious deaths of two other holistic doctors? Jeff Bradstreet and Bruce Hedendal died just weeks before Teresa Sievers. Some online conspiracy bloggers theorized it could be because all three doctors promoted natural cures instead of pushing pharmaceuticals.
But in Teresa's case, Lee County Florida Sheriff Mike Scott says detectives had a different theory.
"I believe in everything that we have thus far, and it's a lot, lends me to some comfort saying that it's not random and arbitrary," said Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott.
But soon the investigation turns. Though Mark Sievers has an alibi, being 1,400 miles away in Connecticut, investigators begin to notice strange behavior.
He left his wife's office so fast trash bags were still hanging out his car window. It's not the first time Mark acted odd.
Sandra says at Teresa's funeral Mark was cold to her even though they'd been friends for years.
"His demeanor and his body language and his character didn't fall into place with a man who was mourning," said Sandra Hoskins.
As Mark was still hanging out at the family home, detectives soon uncovered some dirty laundry. Teresa's business partner Lenka Spiska told cops Teresa struggled with addiction, and with her sexuality.
"She had an issue with pot, and she had the sexual orientation," said Spiska.
Detectives say Mark told them he and Teresa experimented with other partners in the "swinger" lifestyle. Mark reportedly claimed Teresa fantasized about his best friend, Curtis Wayne Wright. He and Mark even looked alike.
Detectives soon found this was no widespread conspiracy to murder holistic doctors -- this was closer to home.
Detectives say they found those connecting dots in Mark's phone. They say a series of phone calls to a disposable "burner" phone led them to a double-wide trailer 1,100 miles away in the Missouri Ozarks, and another man: Curtis Wayne Wright.
Curtis and Mark look eerily alike. Mark reportedly claimed he and Teresa were into a wild "swinger" lifestyle. And Curtis was Teresa's "sexual fantasy."
Now cops are asking, Did her alleged fantasy come to her house for a secret rendezvous? Or for murder?
Outside the trailer, a silver Hyundai rental car leads to the first damning clue in a long list that will split the investigation wide open.
Inside the car a GPS device reveals a bombshell: Teresa's home address in Bonita Springs. And even more, the GPS is registered to an email address with an even different man's name: Jimmy Rodgers.
Investigators head straight to Jimmy's girlfriend, Taylor, who seems to know a lot.
"I'm like, 'Well, I know you went down there to kill somebody.' And then he said, 'Yeah,'" Taylor told investigators in a recorded interrogation. "I said Did you shoot her? And he said no. And I said, Then how, how did you kill her? Then he made a stupid little chuckle that he does, and then said, 'With a hammer.'"
Turns out Jimmy Rogers had a nickname: "The Hammer."
And because of what Taylor told cops they soon sweep in and arrest both Curtis and Jimmy.
Deputies say Jimmy even brought the evidence back with him and told Taylor where he hid it. Detectives say they found bloody overalls Jimmy tossed alongside a rural Missouri highway.
Taylor had absolutely nothing to do with the killing, and cooperated with investigators.
Jimmy's arrest was not a surprise to neighbors in the community about an hour south of St. Louis, who told WZVN-TV that Jimmy bragged about the hit.
So why would Wright and Rogers drive some 1,100 miles from Missouri to Florida to allegedly bludgeon Teresa to death? The sheriff says they were hit-men in a devious murder-for-hire.
But who would employ two killers to kill Teresa? Cops say it was her very own husband, Mark Sievers.
Sievers was arrested. So what do cops believe could be the motive? Prosecutors say Teresa and Mark had troubles in the bedroom, and with the checkbook. There was an IRS lien on the house for nearly $33,000.
But aside from money problems, Mark allegedly had different dollar signs in his eyes: $4.4 million worth. That's the amount of life insurance he held on Teresa, and prosecutors say Mark wanted to cash in promising to pay the alleged hit-men once he settled.
When confronted with the evidence Curtis Wright ultimately confessed. In chilling detail he claims he was the first to hit Teresa "just a couple of times," but then stopped, saying "I have shoulder problems, so I guess I wasn't hitting her hard enough."
That's when Jimmy "The Hammer" allegedly finished the job.
Wright pleaded guilty to second-degree murder He'll serve 25 years in prison. And he will testify against Mark Sievers.
Jimmy Rodgers pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. He waived his right to a speedy trial because his lawyers need time to sift through the 50,000 pages of documents.
Mark Sievers pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.