Sievers children dealing with mother’s death and father’s trial for her murder

We are one step closer to a seated jury in a high-profile Southwest Florida murder trial.

The fifth day of Jimmy Rodger’s murder trial in the death of Teresa Sievers in 2015 saw potential jurors continue to answer tough questions for the trial set to begin at the end of this week. And Mark Sievers, Teresa’s husband, is set to stand trial for orchestrating her killing four years ago after Rodger’s trial is finished.

As Mark Seivers’ trial gets closer, we spoke to experts about how this type of case affects the children of Mark and Teresa.

For the Sievers’ two young daughters, they continue to grow up without their mother, and their father has been away for years, facing murder charges in her death. We spoke to experts about how the girls are likely affected by this traumatic experience.

“Their mother lost her life in the family home,” said Angela Melvin, the Found/CEO of Valerie’s House. “So you think about the loss of the home, the neighborhood, the friends, their mother, their father, their school.”

Other mental health professionals say trials, like the one now in progress, can bring painful flashbacks.

“Every time a trial comes up, every time it hits the news again, they’re going to re-experience a wave of their grief experience,” said Dr. Abbe Finn, the FGCU director of mental health counseling.

Over the next month, graphic images and accounts will be presented in court.

“What we recommend is that the communication is open,” Finn said. “That children are not kept in the dark. But you also have to be very age appropriate with what you tell kids.”

Melvin said she knows the family and said Valerie’s House met with the two girls after Teresa died. Melvin said the healing process becomes more difficult for these children because these children live with grief their dad is accused of causing.

“If the Sievers children were here at Valerie’s House, if they want to talk about their dad, they can talk about their dad,” Melvin said. “They still love their dad? That’s where they’re at. We are not here to judge.”

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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