UPDATE: Mark Sievers has been arrested for the murder of his wife, Dr. Theresa Sievers.
A warrant for the arrest of Mark Sievers was issued this afternoon. NBC-2 reports that deputies are at his home, now. Curtis Wayne Wright, one of two men charged in the murder of Dr. Theresa Sievers, entered a plea earlier today to second-degree murder, and prosecutors agreed to a 25-year sentence. The timing is likely not a coincidence, as Wright’s plea may have freed him up to talk to investigators… and that may have been the final evidence they needed to link Mark Sievers to the murder of his wife. We don’t have any details yet, but that is a very logical chain of events: the arrest on the same day as the plea deal is almost certainly related.
Jimmy Rodgers, the other man charged, just arrived in Lee County this week to face the charges, after being extradited from Missouri, where he was picked up.
The News-Press is reporting that Mark Sievers has been arrested, and that there is a substantial assistance (testifying) component to Curtis Wright’s plea deal.
Cape Coral police are conducting a DUI operation tonight. Don’t drink and drive, besides, the parade is on!
Ana Maria Cardona, via DOC
Ana Maria Cardona, the first woman on Florida’s death row for killing her own child, has had her conviction reversed a second time. While the Florida Supreme Court found that ample evidence was presented to allow the jury to find her guilty, the Court ruled that Prosecutors erred by using inappropriate, inflammatory arguments. “As we have stated for decades, we expect and require prosecutors, as representatives of the state, to refrain from engaging in inflammatory and abusive arguments, to maintain their objectivity, and to behave in a professional manner…” Cardona will be given a new trial, though the death penalty will be in question as the death sentencing procedure in place at the time of the offense has been found to be unconstitutional.
This was Cardona’s second trial, and the first was also thrown out for prosecutorial ‘error’. The court found that the prosecutors failed to disclose additional, contradictory statements, which is a clear violation of the discovery rules. Cardona will still face a third trial, and mandatory life in prison if convicted, even if the death penalty is reinstated.
None of these opinions say that she did not do it, nor that her actions were not horrible. The poor child was found beaten and abandoned, dubbed ‘Baby Lollipops’ by the press as investigators sought to determine who the child was. While the facts are atrocious, and supported the Heinous, Atrocious and Cruel [HAC] findings, the court is simply requiring the state to make appropriate arguments. It often seems that the prosecutors are held to a higher burden of decorum when presenting their case than defense attorneys… I certainly felt that way when I was a prosecutor, but it’s appropriate to ensure that the government act in an appropriate and ethical manner at all times. Any time the freedoms, and especially the life, of a citizen is on the line, there must be no indication of improper influence to obtain a conviction.
Posted in 4th Amendment - Search & Seizure, 6th Amendment - Fair Trial, Criminal Law, Florida, Miami / South Florida, Uncategorized
Tagged ana cardona, appeal, child abuse, closing arguments, death penalty, miami beach, murder, trial
While it (obvioiusly) happened in Florida, it was apparently a Wisconsin man that was arrested after leading officers on a low-speed chase on the seven mile bridge driving a backhoe. Poorly. 59-year old Carl Blahnik was carrying a Wisconsin ID when he was arrested, but authorities believe he had decamped to Florida, and was homeless in the Keys. Deputies pursued and ultimately arrested him for multiple charges after deploying stop sticks to deflate the tires of the backhoe. And the Monroe County Sheriff was nice enough to post the video online!
He drove around on the bridge for an hour and a half, doing all sorts of damage, and effectively shutting the only roadway to the southern keys. Alas, no DUI charges for the backhoe… no indication from the story why; other than to suggest a bizarre joyride.
A Naples man was arrested last week for animal cruelty for kicking a cormorant on the Naples Pier. The bird took one of his fish, and he became enraged, and kicked it really hard. Apparently, the bird had substantial injuries after the incident, and is being treated by a rescue shelter. The man faces a felony charge for animal abuse.
It should go without saying… but I’ll say it, don’t hurt animals…
Justice Scalia passed away in his sleep while on a hunting trip in Texas.
A Wisconsin man charged with DUI claimed that the odor on his breath was due to beer battered fish. He had just come from a fish fry, you see, and the officer simply must have mistaken when he thought he smelled an alcoholic beverage. That half-empty can of Red Dog on the passenger seat… that wasn’t his, I’m sure. The blood alcohol content of .062… that could come from the fish.. right? Right?
Sounds fishy to me…
The jury didn’t buy it and , John Przybyla was convicted of DUI. Again. In fact, this was his 10th drunk driving offense, and due to the repeat offenses, he is facing up to 12 years in prison. They ought to arrest whoever let this guy have a car, again, as well…
Gator at Wendy’s
This is the purest “only in Florida” case yet. A man from Jupiter was going through a Wendy’s drive-thru. He received his drink, and then grabbed a live, 3 and a half foot alligator and chucked through the open window. An FWC officer was able to corral the gator in the kitchen, and it was able to be safely returned to the wild.
It actually took officers several months to make an arrest. The Defendant, Joshua James, was tracked via surveillance footage and vehicle tags, and he has been charged with taking a gator and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. The alligator is the weapon. While such a small juvenile gator may not be lethal, it qualifies as a deadly weapon since it is capable a causing serious bodily harm (he could take off a digit!) In the meantime, we get to enjoy this guy’s mug shot!
Crimcourts continues to be the world leader on criminal related alligator news!
Late last week, the announcements of the new circuit judges came out from the governor’s office. Crimcourts would like to extend congratulations to Leigh Frizzell Hayes and Geoffrey Gentile have been appointed to take the two impending vacancies on the 20th Judicial Circuit bench. Judge Hayes has been promoted from County Judge where she had served for several years. Sounds like she will be handling family law cases in Charlotte County, we’ll miss her in Lee County.
I heard early enough last week that I already congratulated Devin George, who has been appointed to the vacant County Court position. I’ve known Ms. George going all the way back to when we were both prosecutors, and think she will do a great job on the bench.
Judge Hayes’ promotion means that there will be another vacancy for her old position on the County Bench in Lee County… which means another round of applications and interviews.