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Wright testifies, Mark Sievers parental rights suspended

Posted at 10:15 PM, Jun 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-18 21:32:08-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- The man who pleaded guilty for his role in the murder of Bonita Springs doctor Teresa Sievers testified in court for the first time during a custody hearing for her two daughters that she shares with Mark Sievers, who is also charged in her murder.

The judge suspended Mark Sievers' parental rights because he can't care for or supervise his two daughters while in jail facing murder charges.

This means Mark Sievers doesn't have a voice in what happens to his daughters moving forward.

Mark Sievers got emotional when deputies let his childhood best friend Curtis Wayne Wright into the courtroom.

His attorney, Mike Mummert, whipsered to him "Be calm, be calm."

Wright and Mark Sievers saw eachother for the first time since they were charged in Teresa Sievers murder during the custody hearing for Mark's two young daughters.

Mark Sievers' attorney questioned Wright.

"How would you describe Mr. Sievers?" Mummert asked.

"Um... super dad," Wright said.

"And how was Teresa as a parent?" Mummert asked.

"I really didn't see a lot of interaction between the kids and Teresa," Wright answered. "She was working a lot. I know the kids were much more comfortable with Mark."

Then the attorney questioned Wright about Mark Sievers' relationship with his wife Teresa.

"They always seemed happy," Wright said.

"Did Mark ever tell you otherwise?" Mummert asked.

"Not until when he came up for my wedding," Wright responded.

"Did you and Mr. Sievers talk about Mr. Sievers' marital problems?" Mummert asked.

"I'd like to invoke my Fifth Amendment right on that," Wright answered.

Sievers' attorney tried to ask Wright about the murder, but the judge threw out those questions.

After Wright's testimony, the Department of Children and Families counsel argued Mark Sievers' parental rights should be suspended.

"These children have no parent able to put food in their mouths, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads. Their mother is dead and their father is in jail," Kristen Elaine said.

The judge ultimately sided with the state.

"We didn't agree with his ultimate decision," Mark Sievers' co-counsel Antonio Faga said. "They've set this up for Mark to get his children back upon his being found not guilty."

Mark Sievers two daughters are still in the care of Teresa Sievers' mother.