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Preview of trial for the murder of Dr. Teresa Sievers in Lee County

Mark Sievers arrested in wife's murder
Posted at 6:52 AM, Oct 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-01 07:10:20-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- It's a murder that not only rocked Southwest Florida, but it also gained national attention. And now the trial for the murder of prominent Bonita Springs doctor Teresa Sievers is set to begin at 8:30 Tuesday.

It's been four years since Teresa Sievers was killed in her home in Bonita Springs. Now her husband Mark Sievers will be tried, accused of hiring two men to kill her.

Let's take a look back at the case. On the morning of June 29th, 2015, a family friend found Teresa Sievers dead on her kitchen floor, beaten with a hammer.

Photos: Teresa Sievers crime scene (Graphic)

The investigation led to the arrest of two men in Missouri: Jimmy Rodgers and Curtis Wright. It would later reveal that Wright and Mark Sievers were best friends.

In December 2015, the State Attorney released documents claiming Mark Sievers hired Rodgers and Wright to kill his wife so he could collect millions of insurance money.

Months later, deputies arrested Mark Sievers in connection to his wife's murder.

CURTIS WRIGHT ALREADY SENTENCED

Wright pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. He has already accepted a plea deal for his role is the murder, and is serving a 25 year prison sentence.

Wright is expected to testify against the other two suspects

RELATED: Court papers reveal new details in Sievers slaying | Sievers murder: New audio and video released | Mark Sievers loses parental rights of daughters

We know the trials for Rodgers and Sievers will take place separately, but it's still unclear who will be tried first.

ALSO ON TRIAL: JIMMY RODGERS

So who is the other man standing trial: Jimmy Rodgers? He was arrested in Missouri after Teresa's death for violating his probation by coming to Florida. He was on probation for a different crime.

Lee County deputies say when they went to Missouri to interview Rodgers about the homicide case, he repeatedly interrupted them during the reading of his Miranda rights. Deputies say when they told him why they were there, they say Rodgers responded back, saying "in the state of Missouri that's 15 to 20 years, and I'm okay with that."

Rodgers’ girlfriend is expected to testify during this trial. Deputies say she confessed to knowing about Rodgers’ involvement in the murder.

Court documents show the witness list for the trial is 14 pages long.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE TRIAL

We asked attorney Mike Chionopolous what he expects for Tuesday. He says jury selection should start for one of the trials, and he says it will likely be Mark Sievers first. He says jury selection will probably be tough, because of the notoriety of this case, and all of the media coverage it has gotten in the last four years.

You may be wondering how the jury selection process works. Chionopoulous says the judge goes first, then the prosecution, then the defense. Each gets three strikes for jurors, but get unlimited strikes "for cause" -- or credible reasons -- like bias, for example.

Another attorney we spoke to says there are advantages to either going first or second in this high profile trial.

Fox 4 will be in the courtroom and live outside the courthouse recapping the day's events. You can keep up with the entire trail on air and online at Fox4Now.com and through the Fox 4 news app.
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