An attorney representing Mark Sievers - accused of planning the murder of his wife Teresa Sievers spoke to Fox 4 about recent first-degree murder charges against his client which could get him the death penalty.
Mark Sievers and Jimmy Rodgers had previously been charged with second degree murder. Their mutual friend Curtis Wayne Wright took a plea deal in the case..
Last week, a grand jury indicted Sievers and Rodgers on first-degree murder charges, after the state produced evidence that Sievers hired Wright and Rodgers to kill his Teresa.
A conviction of first-degree could result in the death penalty. Attorney Tony Faga, whose firm represents Sievers, says there are mitigating circumstances that should take that punishment off the table.
"His two kids, no prior criminal record, not a danger to anyone else in society,” Faga said.
It's been almost a year since Teresa Sievers was found dead in her Bonita Springs home, bludgeoned with a hammer. Mark Sievers' long-time friend Curtis Wayne Wright told detectives that Mark told him he would pay him to kill Teresa with life insurance money.
Faga says calling it a murder for hire is a stretch. Wright took a plea deal to avoid the death penalty that Sievers and Rodgers could face.
"I think if you look at the whole context of his statements, they're just not as clear as they would have you believe,” Faga said. "There's a lot of mitigating circumstances to keep the death penalty off the table, I think."
Faga says the constant media scrutiny might compel them to ask to have the trial in another county.
"Our philosophy may be that it's impossible to get a fair and impartial trial,” he said. “Then we're gonna have to move it somewhere else."
Faga says that in addition to the question of a venue change for the trial, another question for Sievers' defense team is whether to move to separate Mark's trial from that if Rodgers. Both of those questions have yet to be decided.