Mark Sievers’ lawyers request new trial, say letter contradicts testimony
A man convicted of his wife’s murder has submitted a letter to a judge and is asking for a new trial.
Lawyers for Mark Sievers argue information in a letter contradicts testimony given during Mark’s trial in the murder for his wife Dr. Teresa Sievers.
Mark’s lawyers say the testimony of Dr. Mark Petrites, the man who first found Teresa dead in her family’s home, is questionable due to a letter written by Petrites’ wife.
The two-page letter was found after the recent trial and death penalty sentence for Sievers. It’s dated August 2015, and it’s central to the defense’s request for Mark to receive a new trial.
“We were much closer to Teresa than we were with Mr. Sievers,” said Petrites on the stand during the trial.
The letter is signed by Petrites’ wife, Michelle. In it, she tells Mark Sievers of her “unwavering support” and “belief in his testimony of innocence” and even offers to let the Sievers’ daughters stay with her.
Meanwhile, Mark Petrites testified in November 2019 about what he described as “odd” phone calls with Mark Sievers.
“The night before I found her, I got a voicemail from him checking in on me. Wanted to know if I was OK and that Teresa was going to be coming home that night,” Petrites said in court.
When Petrites was asked if Mark Sievers frequently called to check on him, he said no.
“… We’d never really had much conversation about travel plans,” Petrites said.
A jury member previously told us Petrites’ testimony convinced her Mark Sievers was guilty of planning his wife’s murder.
“My moment was when Petrites, he made that phone call to Mark, and Mark said, didn’t ask what was the problem was. He just asked was it a burglary?” juror Lori told WINK News. “And I thought ‘Who does that?’ You know, my feeling was like I would be ‘Oh, my god what happened?’”
When Petrites was on the stand he was asked if Mark Sievers wanted to know if his wife was hurt.
“He didn’t ask specifically, but he asked, ‘Was it a robbery?’” Petrites said.
The defense’s motion for a new trial points to our interview with the juror after the trial, and it argues the new letter contradicts the testimony given by Mark Petrites. We spoke to Mark Siever’s step-mother, who found the letter after the trial. She said she found it while going through some of Mark’s personal files.
There is no word when Judge Bruce Kyle will make his ruling on the possibility of a new trial.