A last-minute plea to prevent a death sentence. Mark Sievers fought for his life Friday before Judge Bruce Kyle sentenced him to death for orchestrating his wife Teresa’s murder.
Moving forward in the worst of circumstances.
“Our focus now is to go on to take care of the girls, give them the love and support that they need,” said Teresa’s mother, Mary Ann Groves, and brother, Patrick Tottenham in a news conference.
State Attorney’s Office holds a news conference giving statement following sentencing.
Dr. Teresa Sievers’ mother and brother said they just knew the judge would sentence her husband, Mark, to death for planning her murder.
“Justice has been served. And as a friend of ours told us, Teresa took down three guys that took her from us. She’s been with us the whole time. And she’ll be with us always,” Tottenham said.
It’s Teresa’s legacy they hope people remember, not her death.
“I always knew Teresa was going to reach the masses in helping people, but I just didn’t know it was going to be this way. But I know she’s still helping people, from above,” Groves said.
Judge Kyle took into account multiple factors including aggravated charges and the fact the Sievers had no previous criminal record.
Judge said in his decision, “I judge people’s actions. Not their souls. If I’m wrong may God have mercy on both of us.” #Sievers
— Anika Henanger (@AnikaWINK) January 3, 2020
It’s an important step in justice for a murdered Bonita Springs doctor, Teresa Sievers. We saw her family leaving the courtroom Friday looking heartbroken with tears in their eyes.
Sievers, 51, was in court on Friday for an informal hearing, giving Kyle one last chance to hear from the state and the defense, and also from Sievers.
Sievers did speak in court to defend himself one last time, but said he did not feel remorse for something he had nothing to do with and that Teresa was his “soulmate.” He said they’d be reunited in heaven.
Mark Sievers, in the video above, delivers his statement at the Lee County Courthouse on Friday morning.
Although a jury found me guilty, I’m innocent of all charges as I have maintained since the day this crime took place. I love my wife Teresa and our two daughters, Josie and Carmie, with all my heart. Our girls have tragically lost their mommy and now they’re about to lose their daddy as well, therefore, I respectfully ask the court for life. As not to compound their loss and suffering, I am grateful, however, that the court can only determine my fate while my soul is in God’s hands and God knows the truth. And though I cannot feel remorse for something that I had absolutely nothing to do with, I am deeply saddened and forever heartbroken to say, the very least, that Teresa was taken from us. Teresa is my soulmate. I will miss her and cherish our memories until we are reunited in heaven. Until then, I will fight this wrongful conviction until I am proven innocent and set free to rejoin my family.
Although Sievers begged Judge Kyle for mercy, he didn’t budge.
“Sir, I judge people’s actions, I do not judge people’s souls. That’s for someone else to do,” Kyle said.
Teresa’s mother left everyone with this image of her daughter: “She was my modern-day Mother Teresa. I always called her that. because she always was trying to help people.”
The defense said Sievers’ daughters asked the judge not to put their dad to death. It’s not clear whether he will see his children while on death row.
As with every death penalty sentence, the case is automatically appealed.
WATCH TESTIMONY FROM INSIDE THE COURTROOM
WARNING: This video may include graphic content that may be disturbing to some viewers. NOTE: During a court recess, you will see a state of Florida seal.
- Mark Sievers trial: Jury selection proves difficult from the start: Day 1
- Mark Sievers trial: Jury selection: Day 2
- Mark Sievers trial: Jury selection: Day 3
- Mark Sievers trial: Jury selection continues: Day 4
- Mark Sievers trial: Long jury selection process continues: Day 5
- Mark Sievers trial: Final jury selected as case prepares for trial: Day 6
- Mark Sievers trial: Opening statements wrap up, witness testimony begins: Day 1
- Mark Sievers trial: Wright implicates defendant in murder: Day 2
- Mark Sievers trial: Testimony continues following emotional day: Day 3
- Mark Sievers trial: Testimony continues: Day 4
- Mark Sievers trial: State tries to connect all evidence to Sievers: Day 5
- Mark Sievers trial: Final day of testimony before the holiday break: Day 6
- Mark Sievers trial: State rests its case: Day 7