Stephen B. Russell, State Attorney

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1 Lty vwowopleasm8 Stephen B. Russell, State Attorney The Russell Report Page 1 Murder Conviction In This Edition: Page 1 * Major Page 2 * Major Page 3 *Major Page 4 *Guilty Verdicts Page 5 *Anniversaries *Sometimes They Make It Easy. Shane Simpkins was found guilty of Second Degree Murder, Grand Theft and Burglary of a Dwelling following a 5 day trial in Lee County. The jury rendered the verdict on Saturday. 26-yearold Simpkins murdered Mary Ann Zarb from Estero. He faces life in prison when he is sentenced because he is a prison release reoffender. The 64-year-old victim had hired Simpkins to help her by doing renovations around her home. Simpkins gained her trust and then in April of 2011, Zarb was reported missing. Her body was found near the Lee and Charlotte county line. She had been killed and dumped in a wooded area. Both Simpkins and his co-defendant Christopher Neuberger showed authorities where to find the victim. This case highlights the need for people to be very cautious when allowing people into your home. Be sure to do your best to know who you are hiring. Simpkins co-defendant, Neuberger, already plead guilty to Second Degree Murder and has not yet been sentenced. Simpkins is scheduled to be sentenced on April 22 nd. Assistant State Attorneys Marie Scalise from our Homicide Unit and Tyler Lovejoy handled the case. Shane Simpkins DUI and Probation Violation Christopher Neuberger A first time DUI case in Lee County meant prision time for defendant Jason Edward Hills. His DUI violated his felony probation for a 2011 Domestic Violence Battery conviction which involved attempted strangulation. He was found guilty of the DUI following a one day jury trial and was sentenced to 18 months in prison on the probation violation. He was also sentenced to 75 days in the Lee County jail for the DUI and 6 months more of intensive probation consecutive to his prison time. He must also follow all recommendations of the court as they pertain to DUI sanctions. Assistant State Attorneys Jennifer Forsythe and Natalie Ramunni handled the case.

2 t ASoMu Stephen B. Russell, State Attorney The Russell Report Page 2 Law Enforcement Softball Tournament The 11 th Annual State Attorney s Office Law Enforcement Appreciation Day Softball Tournament is May 11 th, All of the proceeds from the event go to support Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers. If you are interested in being a business sponsor or donating items for our raffle, please contact Samantha Syoen, Communications Director for the State Attorney s Office at ************************************************************************************** Learning About the State Attorney s Office Staff members of the State Attorney s Office are available to speak to local students. Throughout the year we visit local classrooms and teach kids about what our office does and how the law works in Florida. We also invite local college students to volunteer at one of our offices throughout Southwest Florida. We have many volunteers who get to work closely with our prosecutors and get a real life education about the criminal justice system. If you would like to learn more about our programs, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Nancy Cruz at or call her at

3 Stephen B. Russell, State Attorney THE RUSSELL REPORT Page 3 Inmate Case. Suspended License Case Bruce Gordon was charged with new crimes while an inmate at the Lee County jail. He had been ordered into an area of the jail after displaying poor behavior, where he continued to disobey a deputy s commands. While the deputy tried to put handcuffs on Gordon, he put his hands on the deputy and a struggled ensued. The deputy was injured after the scuffle. Gordon was found guilty of Battery on a Law Enforcement Office and Resisting an Officer with Violence. Assistant State Attorney James Stewart handled the case. Defendant Cavion Kofi Watson was found guilty of Driving While License Suspended. His license had been suspended for ramming a police car while fleeing and eluding. In this new case, the defendant drove home and went into his house before police could turn around and stop him. He then insisted he had not been driving. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced on the spot. He received 60 days in jail, and had to pay court costs and cost of prosecution. Assistant State Attorney Rosemary Harlem-Wood from our Charlotte County office handled the case. Domestic Violence Case Defendant James Boyle was found guilty of Domestic Violence Battery following a trial in Lee County. Assistant State Attorney Heather Searcy handled the case. Boyle got into an argument with his girlfriend while at home. As the argument escalated, he choked her and drug her through the house by her hair, He also kicked her and hit her. She ran to a neighbor s house for help and the neighbor called 911. The defendant was sentenced to jail time followed by 11 months of probation. He must also pay fines and court costs. Obstruction Case Defendant Daniel Minkes, an attorney, was found guilty of Resisting an Officer without Violence in a Hendry County case. He was arrested for trying to obstuct a DUI investigation involving his girlfriend outside of the Labelle motel. He was sentenced to probation and anger management classes, along with drug and alcohol evaluations. Assistant State Attorney Hamid Hunter handled the case.

4 o Stephen B. Russell, State Attorney Page 4 THE RUSSELL REPORT GUILTY VERDICTS ASAs Marie Doerr and Tyler Lovejoy: Second Degree Murder, Grand Theft, Burglary of a Dwelling ASAs Bob Lee and Carrie Pollock: Aggravated Manslaughter of a Child, Second Degree Child Neglect, Child Neglect 2counts, Tampering with Evidence ASAs Dan Feinberg and Andreas Gardiner: Second Degree Murder 2 counts, Second Degree Arson ASA Heather Searcy: Domestic Violence Battery ASAs Jennifer Forsythe and Natalia Ramunni: DUI ASAs Michael Colombo and Bianca Bentley: DUI ASA Matthew Ropestroff: Exposure of Sexual Organs, Breach of Peace ASAs Nabeel Basit and Sara Miller: DUI 3 rd or more outside of 10 years ASA Matthew Roepstorff: Breach of Peace, Exposure of Sexual Organs ASA Caitlin Sorenson: Petit Theft 2 nd or more ASAs Erik Leontiv and Tom Gorman: Grand Theft, Dealing in Stolen Property 3 counts, False Verification of Ownership 3 counts ASA James Stewart: Battery on a Law Enforcement Office, Resisting an Officer with Violence ASAs Kate Rumley and Mara Marzano: Shooting into an Occupied Dwelling ASAs Andrew Woodliff and Garrick Soja: DUI ASAs Jennifer Toussaint and Sara Miller: Domestic Violence Battery ASAs Natalie Ramunni and Bianca Bentley: Providing False Information Concerning the Commission of a Crime ASA James Stewart: Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting an Officer with Violence ASA Cameron Siggs: Sale of Cocaine within 1,000 feet of a House of Worship, Possession of Cocaine ASAs Scott Patterson and Martin Stark: Possession of a Firearm/Ammunition by a Convicted Felon ASAs Garrick Soja and Caitlin Sorenson: Battery ASA Tom Gorman: Aggravated Assault with a Firearm (actual possession), Resisting an Officer without Violence

5 Stephen B. Russell, State Attorney Serving Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry and Lee Counties THE RUSSELL REPORT Page 5 MARCH ANNIVERSARIES: In recognition of service to the people of Southwest Florida, and dedication to their jobs with the State Attorney s Office, a heartfelt thank you goes to the following people on their March employment anniversary dates: Dan Feinberg 93 Heike Larke 05 Richard Ramsey 09 Tina Thigpen 93 Maureen Zorbas 05 Valerie Tocco 09 Anthony Kunasek 95 Darrell Spivey 06 Dennis Vasey 09 Kathy O Neill 96 Amanda Hutchison 07 Lucy Casamassima 10 Hamid Hunter 99 Denise Kiser 07 Kari Laroche 10 Marcia Baker 00 Andrea Lenhardt 07 Jessica Perez 10 Betty Warchol 01 James Miller 07 Laura Lopez 12 Teri Lewis 02 Lisa Henning 09 Stephen Macera 12 Pamela Luckfelt 03 Darion Higdon 09 Jessica Rivas 12 Cynthia Ross 03 Heather Nichols 09 Robert Siddall 12 Kristyn Whitlow 04 Brittany Pernice 09 Jaleisce Williams 12 Garrick Soja 12 S O M E T I ME S THEY MAKE I T EASY A 61-year-old woman in Miami went more than a little wild when Walmart refused to accept a dollar off coupon she had printed out online. An assistant manager was called to the cash register to explain the policy to the woman. She started cursing at the manager and rammed her shopping cart into her. The woman was asked to leave but then warned that she had something more for the store. She was followed to her car and that is when the coupon hothead pulled out a loaded gun and aimed it at the employees watching. She then took off in her car, but was pulled over by deputies a short distance away. Her antics will surely cost her far more in court costs, fines and legal fees than the one dollar she tried to save. An 11-year-old really wanted to avoid a parent-teacher conference, so he staged a fake kidnapping. The young man from Spain sent his father a text message saying he had been kidnapped while taking out the trash. His father just happens to be a police officer and started a massive search for his son. He was found hiding in a second home the family owned. He s in trouble for making a false report and likely will be in further trouble at the parent- teacher conference..

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