Feb 11, 2020 11:49 AM

Missouri man sentenced in Florida doctor's fatal beating

Posted Feb 11, 2020 11:49 AM
Curtis Wright
Curtis Wright

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — A Missouri man is the third and final defendant sentenced for the fatal beating of a well-known doctor in southwest Florida.

Lee Circuit Judge Bruce Kyle sentenced Curtis Wayne Wright Jr., 51, to 25 years in prison Monday.  The term had been part of a deal with prosecutors when Wright pleaded guilty in 2016 to second-degree murder in exchange for his testimony against his co-defendants.

"Your lawyer did a good job for you,” Kyle told Wright after the sentencing. “I don't know if it was the position you were in was by luck or because it was pre-planned, but good luck to you.”

Dr. Teresa Sievers was found dead at her Bonita Springs home from an apparent hammer attack in June 2015, authorities said.

Her husband, Mark Sievers, recruited Wright and another Missouri man, Jimmy Ray Rodgers, 29, to kill his wife, prosecutors said. Sievers and Wright had been childhood friends in Missouri.

Wright and Rodgers killed Teresa Sievers with hammers after she returned home alone from a family vacation, prosecutors said. Mark Sievers was still on vacation with the couple’s two daughters and his wife’s family when the slaying occurred.

Wright testified that the Sievers were having marriage problems, and Mark Sievers feared losing his daughters. Prosecutors said Mark Sievers was also motivated in part by large life insurance policies on his wife.

Mark Sievers was convicted of first-degree murder and received the death penalty. Rodgers was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.

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Feb 11, 2020 11:49 AM
Ex-Kan. prison lab instructor wants sex crime conviction thrown out
Tomas Co photo Texas County

TOPEKA, KAN. (AP) — A former prison dental instructor who was found guilty earlier this month of one count of unlawful sexual relations with an inmate is asking a judge to throw out the conviction.

Tomas Co was convicted on one charge and found not guilty of five other charges alleging he abused female inmates working in the dental lab at the Topeka Correctional Facility.

The conviction was for a woman who said Co touched the inside of her knee and thigh.

In a motion filed Friday, Co's attorney, Chris Joseph, argued that type of touching doesn’t constitute “lewd” touching under state law. The motion also asks Shawnee County District Court Judge Cheryl Rios to acquit Co based on insufficient evidence, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

Joseph said he also plans to seek probation for Co, rather than the 31 to 136 months of prison time he is facing.

District Attorney Mike Kagay said his office would file arguments in response to the defense motion.

Inmates in the dental lab complained for five years about alleged sexual harassment and unwanted touching by Co, who was dismissed in December 2018.