Fort Myers, FL – Four years after Dr. Teresa Sievers was found deceased in her home, her family has found closure in a multi-trial case. Lee County Sheriff’s Office painted a picture of an inter-state murder-for-hire conspiracy by using Hawk Analytics proprietary software, CellHawk’s ability to quickly analyze tower dump returns. CellHawk exhibits presented during the trials of Mark Sievers and Jimmy Ray Rodgers were key because they provided clear and easy-to-read maps of call detail records.
The verdict was guilty of first-degree murder and of course CellHawk played a significant part… CellHawk was the main reason the burner phones were found.
Dr. Teresa Sievers was found beaten to death in her family home on June 25th, 2015. With few initial leads, investigators requested a tower dump for the area of the crime. A tower dump is an investigative technique in which all phone numbers that registered on a cell site during a particular date and time are provided to law enforcement via legal process. Armed with intelligence gathered from suspect interviews, investigators identified and ordered tower information for two additional locations of interest – both located in Missouri.
The Sheriff’s office analyst used CellHawk’s Link Analysis feature to compare thousands of records and identified the “burner” (or prepaid phones) that were used to communicate the murder plans. The tower dump records identified Mark Sievers, Dr. Sievers husband, and his best friend Curtis Wright as suspects. It was later discovered that Wright received help from a third suspect, Jimmy Ray Rodgers, who Wright had previously met in prison. Sievers had asked Wright to murder his wife while Sievers was visiting Wright in Missouri on the day of Wrights’ wedding. Sievers explained Teresa wished to get a divorce and he was worried he would lose his two daughters in a custody battle. Mark Sievers took out a five million dollar life insurance policy out on Teresa after that conversation.
AT&T provides all the phone records – which is thousands and thousands of pages – in a PDF. I can just drag them and drop them and put them into the system [CellHawk]. In minutes, it analyzes them.
In a follow up search warrant, the call detail records for the prepaid phones were requested and the information was analyzed using CellHawk. CellHawk generated reports and maps that revealed communication between the phones during the short time they were active, which was around the time of the murder. Jurors were shown maps created by CellHawk in the trials that depicted Rodgers’ phone travelling between Missouri and Florida in the days before and in the days after the crime. Both Rodgers’ phone and Teresa Sievers phone registered on the same cell tower several times during the time investigators say the murder occurred.
A witness in the trials referenced her ongoing education in the field of cellular technology to establish her credibility to testify to the specific cellular analysis in this case. Hawk Analytics, Inc., the creator of CellHawk, offers several avenues for continuing education in the field of cellular technology, HawkTalk, a live and on-demand monthly webinar series, is designed to address the emerging trends in cellular technology to help the community stay informed. The 2019 webinar topics included Google, how to interpret returns from major carriers, best practice for cell phone records in court, and an in depth look at cell site coverage areas. You can participate in these free webinar resources on Support@Hawk. Register HERE to gain access to past webinars, tower dump search warrant templates, call detail record search warrant templates, court cases, and more.
At least once a month I take webinars to refresh my skills.
Curtis Wright plead guilty to second degree murder in 2016 and testified against Jimmy Ray Rodgers and Mark Sievers. He received 25 years. Rodgers went to jury trial in Lee County in October of 2019 and was found guilty of second-degree murder. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 12th, 2019. Mark Sievers was found guilty of first-degree murder on December 5th, 2019 after four hours of jury deliberation and they recommended the death penalty.